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Outside/In: A Visit with Mountaineer and Writer Laura Waterman

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Justine Paradis
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Detail of a carving in Laura Waterman's home
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Credit Justine Paradis
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Laura Waterman holds a handmade plaque that she and her husband Guy awarded to Mad Dog, the maple tree on their homestead with the highest maple sap production.

In New England, the Waterman name is like mountain royalty. But beyond a tight circle of outdoors-people, they're not a household name. 

In February 2020, Sam Evans-Brown visited Laura Waterman, one of the most influential voices in American wilderness philosophy, for a conversation about writing, living off-grid, protecting Franconia Ridge, and how she's changed following the death of her husband.

Plus, another round of Ask Sam, in which the team discusses plant hair, shellfish, and birds-as-dinosaurs.

For more about Laura Waterman, visit her website.

Ask Sam: Trichomes, Bug Hair, Bug Tumors, and Mollusk Shells

Ask Sam: that special segment in  which scientists worldwide cringe as Sam and the team speculate wildly on a diverse range of topics before picking up the phone to call in the real experts. 

This time, we've got another hirsute mystery: are insect and plant hairs also made from the magical (seeming) protein called keratin? Also, do bugs get cancer? And which came first: the chachalaca (not a typo) or the turkey? And finally, why do ocean mollusks have tougher shells than their freshwater comrades?

Send us your nature questions! The Ask Sam Hotline (1-844-GO-OTTER) is always open, so do your best to stump the team and send us down another (figurative or literal) rabbit-hole.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. He shifted gears in 2016 and began producing Outside/In, a podcast and radio show about “the natural world and how we use it.” His work has won him several awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards, one national Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club of America's award for best environmental reporting in any medium. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.
Outside/In is NHPR's podcast about the natural world and how we use it. Click here for podcast episodes and more.

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