Out Standing in a Field
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E17: A horse walked into a lek ...
Wild horses stir the imagination and have become an iconic symbol of the West. But the animals aren't exactly from here, they were introduced by people. They're also clashing with a native bird species, the greater sage-grouse, that's under threat and rapidly losing habitat to development and invasive species. Podcasters Benjamin Zack and Leia Larsen visited the Onaqui wild horse herd in Utah's west desert with one of the state's top sage-grouse experts to learn more.
E16: Night Flight
Bats are one of the most prolific types of mammals in the world, but you might not know it since they spend most of their time quietly hunting insects in the dark. Podcasters Benjamin Zack and Leia Larsen met with biologists with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources as they set up nets to trap and measure bats living in North Fork Park. They helped debunk some of the myths and stigmas about the winged wonders while shining light on the animals' unique and secretive lives.
E15: Bear Water Blues
One hundred years ago, some industrious people connected the Bear River with Bear Lake. They essentially turned the lake into a battery for hydropower and a reservoir for farming. It helped build the booming Intermountain region, but joining lake and river also had major environmental consequences. The ripple effects are still being felt today. Journalists Benjamin Zack and Leia Larsen met with PacifiCorp to learn more about the Bear River Project then chatted with one of Bear Lake's...
To bee or not to bee?
Utah is known as the "Beehive State," but we're willing to bet most residents know little about the bees buzzing around in their own backyards. Podcasters Benjamin Zack and Leia Larsen poke around the Ogden Botanical Gardens with bee expert Joe Wilson and learn more about these amazing bugs.
Field Notes: The basics of Utah's public lands with Sara Dant
Lots of questions and misunderstandings are swirling about Utah’s federal public lands, especially with the recent downsizing of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Podcasters Benjamin Zack and Leia Larsen tapped Sara Dant for a brief course in public land basics. Dant is a professor of history and Chair of History at Weber State University. She specializes in environmental and Western history. Last year she published a book, “Losing Eden: An Environmental...
E13: The Landfill on Promontory Point
A landfill is being built on Promontory Point near the shores of the Great Salt Lake. It has yet to take garbage, but it’s already loaded with controversy. The 2,000-acre property will have around 1,000 acres of landfill cells for storing waste. Environmental advocates worry about impacts to the lake’s ecosystem and the migrating birds that depend on it. People living and working on the Promontory Point peninsula worry about increased truck travel and disruption of their quiet way of life....
Field Notes - The art of science communication with Rob Davies
We're starting a new series on the podcast, called "Field Notes," where we have sit-down conversations with Utah's notable scientists and researchers. Our first "Field Notes" chat is with Rob Davies. He's a physicist working at Utah State University, he's a founder of the Crossroads Project and he's a talented science communicator. He spoke about how to explain climate science, why it matters and why people need to take action now to leave a better world for the future.
Field Updates, Part 1
With more than a year of episodes behind them, the OSIAF team decided to track down the scientists from some of their favorite episodes. They provided field updates about mountain lions, cougars and the Great Salt Lake causeway breach.
E10: You should toad-ally listen to this episode
Amphibians throughout the world are in dire straights. That includes Utah's boreal toad — an animal that has adapted to some extreme environments. The Out Standing in a Field crew joins two biologists with the Utah Division of Wildlife in the Monte Cristo Mountains, where they learn about what makes these toads unique and what humans can do to help them.
Episode 9: Out Standing ... in SPACE!
We learn about how scientists and engineers in Utah are playing an important role in taking humans beyond Earth orbit. First, we chat with former astronaut Kent Rominger about his journeys on the NASA space shuttles and what it's like to visit space. Next, we visit Orbital ATK Engineer Erica Sandoval to learn about how local engineers are helping to build a shuttle to Mars that will keep astronauts safe. We also chat with fellow science nerds tailgating at a rocket test in Promontory, Utah.
Hosts Benjamin Zack and Leia Larsen meet with some local, state and federal scientists conducting a massive study of Utah's winter pollution problem.
Episode 1: Cougars — fierce or fascinating?
Wildlife Biologist David Stoner debunks the myths and shares some interesting facts about the big cats living throughout Utah and the West.