Outside/In | New Hampshire Public Radio

Outside/In

Outside/In is a show about the natural world and how we use it. Host Sam Evans-Brown combines solid reporting and long-form narrative storytelling to bring the outdoors to you wherever you are. You don’t have to be a whitewater kayaker, an obsessive composter, or a conservation biologist to love Outside/In. It’s a show for anyone who has ever been outdoors. In short, it’s a show for *almost* everyone.

The landmark Supreme Court ruling known as Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency held that greenhouse gases were pollutants that could be regulated by the executive branch, and defined de facto federal climate policy in the United States for a decade.

Could it soon be reversed? 

Today, we're pleased to share one of our favorite episodes, which was recently awarded a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for "Best News Documentary".

Editor's note: This episode was first broadcast in 2020, before the November election. Since then, a Trump Era rule tailored to curtail the authority of MA v EPA was thrown out by the Circuit court of appeals. A coalition of Republican States' attorneys general have now asked the Supreme Court to overturn that decision.

Outside/In Presents: The Whalesong Workshop

May 1, 2021
Humpback whales drifting in the blue ocean
Katy Payne

In 1967, Katy Payne and her husband Roger Payne were some of the first people to hear recordings of humpback whale song — and the album they released three years later, Songs of the Humpback Whale, became the best-selling environmental album in history. Now Katy is sharing what she’s learned from 50 years of whalesong observation with a group of Canadian musicians, inviting them to learn from and collaborate with whales.

Ryan W. Smith

When composer and traveling musician Ben Cosgrove was just 7 years old, he wrote a song called “Waves.” Since then, he’s made a career out of music inspired by landscape, place, and wilderness.

But if an artist has an environmental brand... do they also represent an environmental ethic? 

Over the years, Ben began to wrestle with what his music was really saying about the natural world.

Secohi on Flickr, Creative Commons

Stop and smell the roses business: On this episode of Outside/In, we trace the way many a flower gets to the vase, from South America to the grocery store.

Plus, we ask how the pandemic has reshaped the industry and led to a global flower shortage; explore one person’s love of houseplants; and experiment with knotweed wine.

Logan Shannon

Nearly every industry has been impacted, in some way or another, by the COVID-19 pandemic -- including the cut flower business.

While sand beaches comprise just over 30% of the world’s ice-free shorelines, the collective idea of the sand beach can sometimes cast a much bigger shadow.

That image can even have an influence on other fields of science - like plastic pollution.

Justine Paradis

Even in the quietest of times, sand beaches are defined by movement and change.

“I think it's fair to say the beach is one of the most flexible or dynamic, if you will, habitats in the world. It’s super geologically unstable,” said coastal ecologist Dr. Bianca Charbonneau, also known as “the Dune Goon.”

On this edition of 10x10, we examine the systems and feedback loops on and around the sand beach, the science taking place there, and how the way beaches are changing is itself changing in a changing world.

Alex Torrenegra via Flickr.

There are places on the map where the roads end. The Darién Gap, or el Tapon del Darién, is one of them.

Plus, how maps change the world.

Outside/In: Featuring ‘How to Save a Planet’

Apr 3, 2021
Gimlet Media

Thirty percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to buildings and the indoor environments in which we live and work - that's more than the entire transportation sector.

This week, we're featuring an episode of Gimlet's How to Save a Planet. It's the story of Donnel Baird, a climate-activist-turned-start-up-founder with a plan to address building inefficiency at a massive scale.

Credit Fotologic, https://bit.ly/3ethbI2

In this edition of our occasional series 10X10, in which we take a close look at unusual or overlooked ecosystems, we’re getting our mind in the gutter.  

Starting at the curb and working our way up, we spend this episode learning about which creatures take advantage of our waste-water systems; find evidence of extraterrestrial travel on our rooftops; and we look at how gutters function – or don’t – for the very species that designed them.

Plus, Sam investigates a myth about pot and panels to find out whether the early solar industry got a boost from illegal weed growers in California.  

Credit ESA/NASA

Massive solar flares, mental health in the time of coronavirus (and all the time) and the epigenetics of trauma.

Jungletrax Bengal Cats, with permission

The Bengal cat is an attempt to preserve the image of a leopard in the body of a house cat: using a wild animal’s genes to get the appearance, while leaving out the wild animal personality. But is it possible to isolate the parts of a wild animal that you like, and forgo the parts that you don’t?

Can you have your leopard rosette and your little cat too?

This episode was originally published in 2018.

The Acorn: An Ohlone Love Story

Mar 6, 2021
Zoe Tennant

A tale of love, ancestry, and homeland, with an acorn at its heart.

Taylor Quimby

Today on Outside/In, a 2018 trend of "raw water" sparks a road-trip investigation of New Hampshire's roadside springs, and producer Justine Paradis looks into the etymology of the "frost heave". 

Image by Jamie Johannsen from Pixabay

This time on the show it's another edition of Ask Sam, where Sam answers listener questions about the natural world. This time, questions about hugging trees, bumpy roads, objects stuck on power lines, and epic hummingbird battles.

Plus, from our semi-regular series 10X10, we head under the ice of a frozen lake. In this piece, we give the down low on bizarre properties of water, fish that thrive in a capped-off environment, and long beards of algae clinging to the underside of a secret ecosystem few have ever explored.

Justine Paradis

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.

Taylor Quimby

A conversation with Sabrina Imbler, science journalist and author of Dyke (Geology), which tells the story of Kohala - the island of Hawaii’s most ancient volcano - and of a break-up, in a hybrid work combining science writing, poetry, and personal essay.

Cyclical Core on Deviant Art

A lot of us may feel like our time and attention is not our own, and can easily disappear into the ether of work and the internet. But rather than merely suggesting a digital detox, artist and writer Jenny Odell presents a third way.

In her book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, Odell draws on ecology, art, labor history, and literature, to seek a deeper kind of attention: an attention that probes our sense of selfhood, our relationship to place, time, and other species. An attention that reminds us of our being animal on this planet.

Maja Dumat, https://bit.ly/3nMmp2J

The 8th season of the reality television show North Woods Law – a show that follows  conservation officers from New Hampshire’s Fish & Game Department – kicks off with a skunk rescue, a nosey bear being chased out of town, and a multi-day search and rescue operation that ends with a drowning victim being pulled out of the Androscoggin River. 

In this episode of Outside/In, a closer look at the people who police the natural world and how we use it, as depicted by reality television. 

Roel Wijnants, Creative Commons

One of the most visible participants in the Capitol riot on January 6 was a shirtless man dressed in a fur headdress and Viking horns. 

A “QAnon Shaman,” by his own definition, Chansley is also perhaps the most visible representation of an overlap between New Age communities and Q-Anon conspiratory theorists. 

Depending on who you ask, astrology is a science, an art form, a spirituality, a form of therapy … or, a pseudo-science, a scam, fortune-telling. 

But astrology’s recent popularity is only the latest iteration in several millennia of humans looking to the stars for meaning. What does contemporary Western astrology say about this cosmic moment?

This episode was originally published in January 2020.

Courtesy Photo

The Outside/In team offers suggestions for a happy and healthy winter 2021, inspired by two Norwegian concepts: friluftsliv, or embracing the outdoors with open-air living; and koselig, getting as cozy as possible.

Phoenix Yung

On dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, plenty of folks describe themselves as "outdoorsy" on their profiles. But "outdoorsy" can mean very different things to different people.

In 2019, the Outside/In team ventured onto the dating apps to ask people about the role of the outdoors in their love lives. Plus, a year and a half later, the team wondered: where are they now?

The Aurora Beacon News | December 23, 1970 | Page 1

In the late '60s, a soap factory in suburban Illinois discovered one of its outflow pipes had been intentionally clogged by an industrial saboteur. Does environmental damage ever demand radical action? And when does environmental protest cross the line and become eco-terrorism?

maurizio mucciola on Flickr.

In the coming decades, the scale of migration linked to climate change could be dizzying. In ProPublica’s projection, four million people in the United States could find themselves “living at the fringe,” outside ideal conditions for human life.

Yellowstone National Park

The National Parks are seen as a national treasure, touted by some as “America’s Best Idea.” But restricting access to the natural world as a method of conservation is also part of a history of indigenous erasure. 

 

On this episode, we trace the history of the prejoratively-termed “fortress conservation,” from Robin Hood to Fort Yellowstone and the global spread of national parks and preserves.

 

Plus, what the likelihood of another four years of divided government means for climate action.

Laconia Evening Citizen

Scary stories are often set in the dark and wild woods, but why does nature inspire fear? We look for answers in the forests, cemeteries, and witch trials of New England.

Outside/In: The Olive and the Pine

Oct 17, 2020
Courtesy Liat Berdugo

Planting a tree often becomes almost a metaphor for doing a good deed. But such an act is not always neutral. In some places, certain trees can become windows into history, tools of erasure, or symbols of resistance.

Megan Tan

We're sharing a selection of stories from the show's early days, including an edition of Eat the Invaders and our earliest installments of our 10x10 series looking at vernal pools and traffic circles.

Public domain

Not too long ago, four Outside/In producers waged an epic fruit fight: a good-natured debate of culinary and cultural history, aimed at deciding which seed-bearing delicacy ought to be crowned the GFOAT, or the Greatest Fruit of All Time: the pepper, the gourd, the coconut, or the vanilla bean. 

The debate inspired a handful of well-argued (and listener-submitted) write-in candidates, as well as a thoughtful conversation about the deep connections between food, culture, and colonialism. 

 

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