There are so many fantastic podcasts being produced every week – which means it can be hard to find new favorite podcasts, or even podcast episodes. I’ve written a couple of round-ups on great podcast listens before and felt like it’s time to offer a new one. Below, you’ll find some of my favorite podcast listens from the past six months or so, along with a recommended “starter” episode you might give a listen if you’re just trying it out.
These are listed in no particular order—and this is far from a comprehensive list of good science (and ecology!) podcasts that are available in the world. Let us know on Facebook or LinkedIn what some of your favorite podcasts are!
Ologies, with host Alie Ward, offers different interviews each episode with people who are experts in their highly specialized field. You might get to learn about racoons, trees, TikTok, speech pathology, or yeast—and so many more topics as well—because there is an extensive archive and Alie Ward produces new episodes nearly every week. There are even bleeped episodes so you can listen with your whole family! If you’re just getting started with this podcast, you might try out the Wildlife Ecology (FIELDWORK) episode with Corina Newsome from June 8, 2021 or Fire Ecology with Gavin Jones from August 10, 2021.
Good Fire is finally offering a season 2—which is coming soon—and that makes for a great time to check out their first season. Good Fire explores cultural burning, getting fire back into our ecologies, social justice, and cultural empowerment with a lens of wildland fires. One of my favorite re-listens from season 1 was Fire Ecology and Indigenous Knowledge with Frank Lake.
On the topic of fire, Fireline (from Montana Public Radio) is a limited series podcast released last year “about what wildfire means for the West, planet and our way of life.” Since this is a limited series, it does build on itself and you’ll do well to start with the first episode (available at the link to the podcast).
If you’re looking for something that offers more story-like narratives, you might check out The Story Collider, which offers a huge archive and range of perspectives and experiences on how science impacts our lives. One of my favorites from last year is the Women in Science episode. I have a lot of favorites from this podcast over the years—and if you look back in our archives, you’ll find some other favorite episodes.
Like some of these other podcasts, I’ve recommended this before, but you really can’t go wrong with Completely Arbortrary (yes, that is how it’s spelled!), which is a podcast about trees hosted by two friends—a dendrologist and his tree-skeptic friend. This season, they’re focused on trees that produce food humans eat—and some of the episodes also include recipes. You might check out The Saddest Nut (Almond) or Tree of Hell (Tree of Heaven), which will probably especially resonate with people who perform invasive species removal. But honestly, if you’re at all interested in learning more about trees—and want that learning to be entertaining—you can’t go wrong with this podcast.
Finally, Propaganda by the Seed is less about ecology—and more about gardening for the place you live and in ecologically wise ways—but since so many people started gardening during the pandemic, I think this is worth a shout-out, as well. One of my favorite episodes from the past year is the one on Eastern Woodlands Rematriation.