Outside/In A podcast about the natural world and how we use it. Outside In is hosted by Nate Hegyi.
Outside/In

Outside/In

From New Hampshire Public Radio

A podcast about the natural world and how we use it. Outside In is hosted by Nate Hegyi.

Most Recent Episodes

Yardwork: Lawn and Order

Welcome to Yardwork, a summer yard and garden miniseries from Outside/In. We're sharing three stories about our relationships with the land around us: the front yard, the backyard, and down the block. This is part one. Americans love a lawn. Green grass grows everywhere: on baseball fields, in backyards, in front of strip malls. Collectively, we spend billions of dollars every year keeping them fertilized and watered. But lawns cost more than money in Western states like Utah. Despite a severe drought, residents of Utah's towns and cities use more water per capita than any other place in the nation, and a majority of that water goes right into lawns. That's helping fuel an environmental disaster that could wipe out one of America's largest inland seas. In part one of Yardwork, we trace the 600-year history of lawns, explore how they became a symbol of power, wealth, and Whiteness in America, and share tips on how to make a yard more environmentally responsible. Featuring: Malin Curry, Ira Curry, Kelly Kopp, Zach Frankel, Karen Stenehjel SUPPORT Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook LINKS Check out Malin Curry's essay on the history of Black Americans and yard work. To read more about how agriculture and outdoor watering is contributing to the disappearance of the Great Salt Lake, take a look at these two studies. ProPublica published an excellent investigation into why one of the West's driest states often rejects aggressive water conservation efforts. For some great history on lawns, read Paul Robbins' Lawn People and Virginia Scott Jenkins' The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession CREDITS Host: Nate Hegyi Reported and produced by Nate Hegyi Editing by Taylor Quimby Additional editing help from Justine Paradis, Felix Poon, Rebecca Lavoie and Jessica Hunt. Rebecca Lavoie is our Executive Producer Special thanks to Sherry Lund, Zach Renstrom, Karry Rathje and Ken Fox. Music for this episode by Walt Adams, Sture Zetterberg, OTE, Headlund, Roy Edwin Williams, El Flaco Collective, Pulsed, Jimmy Wahlsteen, Both Are Infinite, Airae, and Alfie-Jay Winters. Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio

The most successful species on Earth?!

Humans have had an impressive run thus far; we've explored most of the planet (the parts that aren't underwater anyway), landed on the moon, created art and music, and some pretty entertaining Tik Toks. But we've survived on the planet for just a fraction of the time horseshoe crabs and alligators have. And we're vastly outnumbered by many species of bacteria and insects. So what is the most successful species on Earth? And how do you measure that, anyway? From longevity, to happiness, to sheer numbers, we put a handful of different organisms under the microscope in hopes of better understanding what exactly it means to succeed at life on a collective and individual scale. Featuring: Stephen Giovannoni, Rashidah Farid, and Steward Pickett SUPPORT Check out Stephen Giovannoni's paper: "SAR11 Bacteria: The Most Abundant Plankton in the Oceans" An interesting treatise on adaptability: "Why crocodiles still look the same as they did 200 million years ago" From the NSF: "The most common organism in the oceans harbors a virus in its DNA" More food for thought: "The non-human living inside you" CREDITS Host: Nate Hegyi Reported and produced by: Taylor Quimby Editing by: Nate Hegyi, Rebecca Lavoie Additional editing help from Justine Paradis, Felix Poon, and Jessica Hunt. Rebecca Lavoie is our Executive Producer Special thanks to everybody who answered our question at the top of the show: Josemar Ochoa, m Carey Grant, Butter Wilson, Tim Blagden, Robert Baker, Sheila Rydel, and Bob Beaulac. Music for this episode by Blue Dot Sessions, and Jules Gaia Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio

The National Park Service

The National Park Service has changed immensely since its days of keeping poachers out of Yellowstone. So has its approach to telling the story of America. Kirsten Talken-Spaulding of the NPS and Will Shafroth of the National Parks Foundation help us understand how this colossal system actually works and what it's doing to tell the true story of the United States. This episode was reported and produced by our friends at the wonderful podcast Civics 101. LINKS For more about the history of national parks and state-backed conservation, we've got episodes! We've also delved into the history of Yellowstone, with a focus on the original conservation strategy behind it and many other parks, a strategy pejoratively called "fortress conservation." "Himalayan Land Grab" tells the story of what happened when park developers applied the same "fortress conservation" strategy in northern India. "Thin Green Line" is an exploration of the role of conservation law enforcement through the reality TV show North Woods Law. We've also featured "The Problem with America's National Parks," an episode of the podcast The Experiment (no longer being produced) which asked: why not simply give the national parks back to Native people? CREDITS Hosted by Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice Produced by Hannah McCarthy with help from Nick Capodice Senior Producer: Christina Phillips Executive Producer: Rebecca Lavoie Civics 101 staff includes Jacqui Fulton. Outside/In team: Nate Hegyi, Taylor Quimby, Justine Paradis, Felix Poon, and Jessica Hunt. Music (National Park Service): Nul Tiel Records, Evan Schaefer, Kesha, Walt Adams, Site of Wonders, Dusty Decks, HoliznaRAPS and Margareta.

The first national park

The land had been cultivated and lived on for millennia when geologist Ferdinand Hayden came upon the astounding Yellowstone "wilderness." It wasn't long before the federal government declared it a national park, to be preserved in perpetuity for the enjoyment of all. Ostensibly. How did Yellowstone go from being an important home, hunting ground, thoroughfare and meeting place to being a park? This episode was reported and produced by our friends at the wonderful podcast Civics 101. Featuring: Megan Kate Nelson, author of Saving Yellowstone, Mark David Spence, author of Dispossessing the Wilderness and Alexandra E. Stern, historian of Native peoples and Reconstruction are our guides to this rocky start. LINKS For more about the history of national parks and state-backed conservation, we've got episodes! We've also delved into the history of Yellowstone, with a focus on the original conservation strategy behind it and many other parks, a strategy pejoratively called "fortress conservation." "Himalayan Land Grab" tells the story of what happened when park developers applied the same "fortress conservation" strategy in northern India. "Thin Green Line" is an exploration of the role of conservation law enforcement through the reality TV show North Woods Law. We've also featured "The Problem with America's National Parks," an episode of the podcast The Experiment (no longer being produced) which asked: why not simply give the national parks back to Native Americans? CREDITS Hosted by Hannah McCarthy and Nick Capodice Produced by Hannah McCarthy with help from Nick Capodice Senior Producer: Christina Phillips Executive Producer: Rebecca Lavoie Civics 101 staff includes Jacqui Fulton. Outside/In team: Nate Hegyi, Taylor Quimby, Justine Paradis, Felix Poon, and Jessica Hunt. Music: Walt Adams, Silver Maple, Arthur Benson, Alexandra Woodward and Rocky Marciano.

Is climate journalism experiencing a Great Resignation?

Last summer, former Outside/In host Sam Evans-Brown quit journalism to become a lobbyist for clean energy. He's not alone. Millions of people left their jobs or changed careers in the past couple years. But is the field of climate journalism going through its own "Great Resignation?" In a moment when the stakes are so high, are the people who cover the climate crisis leaving journalism to try to help solve it? Producer Justine Paradis talks with two reporters who recently found themselves re-evaluating their personal and professional priorities: one who left journalism, and another who stayed. Featuring Sophie Gilbert, Sam Evans-Brown, Stephen Lacey, Julia Pyper, Meaghan Parker, and Kendra Pierre-Louis. SUPPORT Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our (free) newsletter. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook. LINKS The podcast episode of Warm Regards that Justine mentions is "Apocalyptic Narratives, Climate Data, and Hope, with Zeke Hausfather and Diego Arguedas Ortiz" The history of objectivity is arguably one of the "great confusions of journalism." In the early 20th century, reporter Walter Lippman and editor Charles Merz contended that objectivity is a practice akin to the scientific method. "The method is objective, not the journalist." More recently, plenty of folks have commented on problems with "bias" in journalism, including Lewis Raven Wallace, Wesley Lowery, and Sam Sanders, who wrote, "The avoidance of the 'perception' of 'bias' ultimately means the only reporters to be trusted are those whose lives haven't been directly touched by the issues and struggles they're covering. And you [know] what that means." Julia Pyper's podcast Political Climate Post Script Media, Stephen Lacey's podcast company How cable TV covered climate change in 2021. Nate Johnson, a former journalist who left Grist to become an electrician, featured on How to Save a Planet. Kendra Pierre-Louis spoke in greater depth about her career and what it's like to be a Black woman in journalism with Mary Annaïse Heglar and Amy Westervelt on Hot Take. The Yale Climate Opinion Maps find that 72% of Americans believe in global warming, although just 33% report hearing about climate in the media at least once a week. You can explore the data and see how climate attitudes vary by state and county. For Sarah Miller, all the right words on climate have already been said. "I could end this story by saying 'We kept swimming and it was beautiful even if it will all be gone someday,' or some shit, but I already ended another climate story that way. I have, several times, really nailed that ending... Writing is stupid. I just want to be alive." CREDITS Special thanks to Nate Johnson and Peter Howe Host: Nate Hegyi Reported, produced, and mixed by Justine Paradis Editing and additional mixing by Taylor Quimby Additional editing: Rebecca Lavoie, Nate Hegyi, Felix Poon, and Jessica Hunt Executive Producer: Rebecca Lavoie Music: Sarah the Illstrumentalist, Daniel Fridell, baegel, FLYIN, Smartface, Silver Maple, By Lotus, 91nova, Moon Craters, Pandaraps, and Blue Dot Sessions Theme Music: Breakmaster Cylinder

Life and Death at a Human Decomposition Facility

Few bear witness to human decomposition. We embalm and seal bodies in caskets, and bury them six feet underground. Decomposition happens out of sight and out of mind, or in the case of cremation, is skipped over entirely. But at human decomposition facilities, sometimes known as "body farms," students and researchers see rotting corpses every day. They watch as scavengers and bacteria feast on them. And when it's all over, they clean the skeletons, and file them away in a collection. In this episode, producer Felix Poon visits a human decomposition facility in North Carolina to see what the people who work there have learned about death, find out how a human body decomposes, and why a person might choose to wind up there in the first place. Featuring: Nick Passalacqua, Rebecca George, Carter Unger, Maggie Klemm, Carlee Green, Victoria Deal, Kadri Greene, Mackenzie Gascon, Reagan Baechle, Leigh Irwin, and Lucinda Denton LINKS You can watch Bill Bass tell the story of Colonel William Shy and the time since death estimation he got so wrong that led to him founding the first ever "Body Farm." If you want to hear from pre-registered donors about their decision to donate their bodies, you can watch a WBIR-TV segment, The Body Farm: A donor explains why she's ready to hand off her corpse to the forensic center about Lucinda Denton, who we feature in this episode. And you can read Fawn Fitter's article, My Afterlife on the Body Farm (NY Times), about how she intends to help solve crimes as part of a world-renowned criminal justice program after she dies. If you're curious to read more about the "CSI Effect," check this article out: 'CSI effect' draws more women to forensics. And if you want to read up on how the field of forensics is talking about evolving their concepts of race and gender, you can read Decolonizing ancestry estimation in the United States, and Centering Transgender Individuals in Forensic Anthropology and Expanding Binary Sex Estimation in Casework and Research. SUPPORT Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook. CREDITS Host: Nate Hegyi Reported and produced by: Felix Poon Editing by Taylor Quimby, with help and feedback from Nate Hegyi, Rebecca Lavoie, Justine Paradis, and Jessica Hunt. Rebecca Lavoie is our Executive Producer Special Thanks to: Fawn Fitter, Katie Zejdlik, Jimmy Holt, Carter Unger, Maggie Klemm, Carlee Green, Victoria Deal, Kadri Greene, Mackenzie Gascon, Reagan Baechle, and Leigh Irwin. Music for this episode by Blue Dot Sessions. Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio

Update: Happy the Elephant is Not a Person

Anybody who supports the show RIGHT NOW, during our June 2020 Fund Drive, will be entered to win a $500 Airbnb gift card, and will receive an adorable limited-edition Outside/In axolotl sticker. Click here to donate to Outside/In right now. A few weeks ago, we teamed up with the Civics 101 podcast to bring you the story of Happy, an Asian elephant living in the Bronx Zoo. Lawyers had petitioned the New York State Court of Appeals for a writ of Habeas Corpus; a legal maneuver that could have freed Happy and set a new precedent for animal rights. But in a ruling out this week, the court has decided: Happy isn't going anywhere. In this quick update to our previous episode (listen here if you haven't already) Nate and Hannah debrief on the 5-2 split decision, and what it means for the future of animal rights. Featuring: Maneesha Deckha SUPPORT Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook LINKS Read more about this week's ruling, and what it may mean for animal rights, in this article from Slate. CREDITS Hosts: Nate Hegyi and Hannah McCarthy Reported and produced by: Nate Hegyi Mixer: Taylor Quimby Editing by Taylor Quimby Rebecca Lavoie is our Executive Producer Music for this episode by Fabien Tell, Bill Ferngren, Sarah the Illstrumentalist, and Alexandra Woodward Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio

Six Foot Turkey: What Jurassic Park Got Wrong (And Right) About Dinosaurs

Anybody who supports the show RIGHT NOW, during our June 2020 Fund Drive, will be entered to win a $500 Airbnb gift card, and will receive an adorable limited-edition Outside/In axolotl sticker. Click here to donate to Outside/In right now. When the smash-success Jurassic Park first hit theaters in 1993, it inspired a generation of dinophiliacs and helped to usher in a new "golden age of paleontology." But it also froze the public's perception of dinosaurs in time, and popularized inaccuracies that people still believe are true today. So what happens when the biggest source of information on a scientific field comes from a fictional monster movie? In this episode, three Jurassic Park super-fans (one paleontologist, and two podcasters) try to sort it all out. Featuring: Gabriel-Philip Santos SUPPORT Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook LINKS Want to learn more about dinosaurs? Check the publish date before you check it out from the library! And here are some good options: Smithsonian's The Dinosaur Book (pretty much all of the Smithsonian books are good for younger readers) Want to get a more global perspective of where dinosaurs have been discovered? Check out a dinosaur atlas book. For older readers, or anybody who loves a good coffee table book, check out this entry featuring a number of excellent paleoartists: Dinosaur Art II (Taylor has the first one and loves to show it off). Also: A truly disheartening read about people who think feathered dinosaurs are an attack on masculinity. CREDITS Host: Nate Hegyi Reported and produced by Taylor Quimby Mixer: Taylor Quimby Editing by Rebecca Lavoie, with help from Nate Hegyi and Justine Paradis Rebecca Lavoie is our Executive Producer Music for this episode by Sarah the Illstrumentalist, Pandaraps, Matt Large, Ballpoint, and Valante. Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio

Six Foot Turkey: What Jurassic Park Got Wrong (And Right) About Dinosaurs

Et Tu, Brute? The Case for Human Rights for Animals

Anybody who supports the show RIGHT NOW, during our June 2020 Fund Drive, will be entered to win a $500 Airbnb gift card, AND will receive an adorable limited-edition Outside/In axolotl sticker. Click here to donate to Outside/In right now. Happy has lived in New York City's Bronx Zoo for years. To visitors, she's a lone Asian elephant. But to a team of animal rights lawyers, she's a prisoner. They've petitioned state courts for a writ of Habeas Corpus; a legal maneuver that, if granted, would declare Happy a legal person who deserves to be freed. It's the latest case in an ongoing fight to extend basic human rights to animals – one that could have big repercussions in the natural world. Because this is a case that deals with animals AND the law, two podcasts from New Hampshire Public Radio have teamed up to take it on: Outside/In and Civics 101. We always hear about the animal rights movement... but what rights do animals actually have? Featuring: Maneesha Deckha, Kevin Schneider SUPPORT Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook LINKS Listen and subscribe to Civics 101! Check out which animals don't get covered by the country's biggest anti-cruelty law, the Animal Welfare Act, here. Nonhuman Rights Project founder, Steven Wise, explained why he compares the plight of nonhuman animals to the plight of enslaved people in a wide-ranging interview with University of Toronto law professor Angela Fernandez in 2018. The New Yorker wrote about Happy the elephant's legal case earlier this year. You can rent the HBO Documentary about Tommy the chimpanzee, Unlocking the Cage, on Apple TV. We weren't able to dive into it in this episode, but Maneesha has made a compelling case for not fighting for personhood for animals – instead, there should be a distinct third classification known as "legal beings." Check out her lecture on it here. CREDITS Hosts: Nate Hegyi, Hannah McCarthy, Nick Capodice Reported and produced by: Nate Hegyi Editing by Taylor Quimby, with help and feedback from Nick Capodice, Hannah McCarthy, Rebecca Lavoie, and Nate Hegyi Rebecca Lavoie is our Executive Producer Music for this episode by El Flaco Collective, The Fly Guy Five, Jules Gaia, and Peerless. Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio

Frog Sex, Tree Soap, and Other Signs of Spring

It's that time again, when scientists everywhere hold their breath as we open our listener mailbag. It's spring in the northern hemisphere, so the theme of the questions in this episode is "growth" — with the exception of the last question, which is... kind of the opposite. Question 1: Um, what are those frogs doing? (go to our website to see the picture) Question 2: What's that white foam that forms on trees when it rains? Question 3: Does moss get damaged when you walk on it? Question 4: What's the best filling for raised beds in the garden? Question 5: How long does it take for a dead squirrel to decompose? [insert image] Thanks for the excellent questions, Louise, Mihaela, Tricia, Kevin, and Nicolas! Do you have a question about the natural world? Submit it to the Outside/Inbox! Send a voice memo to outsidein@nhpr.org or call our hotline: 1-844-GO-OTTER (844-466-8837). Don't forget to leave a number so we can call you back. Featuring: Nat Cleavitt, Rebecca Roy, Yolanda Burrell, and Sibyl Bucheli SUPPORT Outside/In is made possible with listener support. Click here to become a sustaining member of Outside/In. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter. Follow Outside/In on Instagram or Twitter, or join our private discussion group on Facebook LINKS Check out one of many salacious articles about frog sex, or read the somewhat less sensational study about underwater breeding chambers. And here's one more study about frog sex; specifically simultaneous polyandry. CREDITS Host: Nate Hegyi Reported and produced by: Taylor Quimby, Justine Paradis, Felix Poon, and Jessica Hunt Mixed by Taylor Quimby, Justine Paradis, and Felix Poon Editing by Taylor Quimby, with help from Rebecca Lavoie and Justine Paradis Rebecca Lavoie is our Executive Producer Music for this episode by Blue Dot Sessions Our theme music is by Breakmaster Cylinder. Outside/In is a production of New Hampshire Public Radio