Nature | KCUR

Nature

Segment 1: What it's like to be the first woman in charge at the Kansas City Fire Department.

As Donna Maize takes over as Fire Chief, she makes Kansas City history and achieves a lifelong dream.

Segment 2, beginning at 18:30: How a paywall is changing everything for the Shawnee Mission Post.

Segment 1: Environmentalism and the outdoors have long been seen as safe spaces for white people.

The concerns of climate change action organizations are wide-ranging and well-founded, but membership is largely white and adult. Learn the benefits and challenges of adding young people of color to these groups, apart from just making them more reflective of the communities they serve. The founder of an Atlanta group and the head of a Kansas City organization explained how they are bringing diversity and youth to the environmental ranks.

Segment 1: A Kansas City restaurant teams up with a New Orleans chef on a popup event.

Ryan Prewitt is a James Beard Award winning chef at Peche in New Orleans, known for its focus on sustainability in seafood. When he comes to Kansas City to collaborate with Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar, he'll be spreading a message of consuming ocean species responsibly. 

Segment 1: An artist makes us look more closely at the disposable still life piling up on the kitchen table.

When Yoonmi Nam looks at the takeout containers, junk mail and plastic bags that accumulate around her, she sees a still life. Translating these objects into ceramics and putting them on a pedestal, she gives weight and permanence to the things that briefly populate our lives before getting tossed aside.

Segment 1: Making greeting cards more diverse.

Cards are about relationships. So if none of the greeting cards on the shelf represent the person you're reaching out to, or the occasion you're celebrating, it won't feel quite right. Hallmark's trying to make more communities feel "seen" in the greeting card aisle.

  • Monic Houpe, product director, Hallmark
  • Christy Moreno, editorial director, Hallmark

Segment 2: Why Kansas and Missouri astronomers are fighting to save dark skies.

Seg. 1: Immigrant Anxiety | Seg. 2: Volcano Gear

Jul 18, 2019

Segment 1: How Kansas City immigrants are dealing with threats of raids.

"Just in case" is the phrase Celia Calderon Ruiz uses to sum up how people in her community are dealing with the possibility of a raid in Kansas City. Our guests offer clarification on the constitutional rights of migrants, regardless of status.   

Seg. 1: Recruiting Gen Z | Seg. 2: Fireflies

Jul 11, 2019

Segment 1: What changing recruitment techniques say about our changing culture.

Move over, millennials. The new new workforce is going to be made up of Generation Z, born in or after 1997. The incentives and benefits packages being offered to new recruits by major companies already reflect that generation's needs and values.

Segment 1: As the tourism industry grows, so do questions about the impact of travel.

Are there ways to enjoy greater acess to travel while also treading more lightly on the destinations we visit? Or do we simply need to cut back?

Terry Evans / terryevansphotography.com

Kansas City native Terry Evans has seen things firsthand that most of us never will: a melting glacier crumbling into the waters of Greenland, the breakage of land at fracking sites in North Dakota

But Evans keeps returning to her pioneering work documenting the Kansas prairie, even though she never intended to become a landscape photographer at all.

Segment 1: A Kansas City non-profit is advocating for people with rare diseases.

When you have a disease that's common, you can expect a swift diagnosis and a level of understanding from friends and family. But that might not be the case if your condition is rarely seen and little-understood, even by medical professionals. Hear about the obstacles facing patients with rare diseases and their families

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado just got back from vacationing with a colleague at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The two were taking a leisurely walk along the water's edge when they decided to turn over a rock, just to see what might be underneath it. 

Segment 1: The state of water in Kansas.

About three years ago, there were major concerns for the future of water in Kansas. Now that a few years have passed, what does the availability of water look like today? 

Kansas City Zoo

For three years, a female named Berlin has been the sole attraction at the Kansas City Zoo's polar bear exhibit. Those days will soon be over: Another female named Bam Bam should arrive from Omaha sometime this month (the zoo is not disclosing the exact date).

Berlin, who is 28, has lived alone at the zoo since 2015, when the male polar bear Nikita moved to the North Carolina Zoo for breeding. He and Berlin had spent three years living together, but had not produced any cubs.

Public Domain / Pixabay-CC

Perfectionism, bullying, depression and social media are a few of the stressors teens constantly face in today's society. As the number of teen suicides in Kansas City reach record levels, we speak with school councilors and health experts to learn why rates are climbing in the metro and how to help prevent suicides.

But first, a discussion on undeveloped land in suburban areas. What happens when the desire to turn unused land into roads and schools collides with the desire to keep things natural?

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Despite the raucous Republican reception Pres. Trump's State of the Union received, Kansas City's Rep. Emanuel Cleaver thinks the commander-in-chief missed an opportunity with his speech. Today, he shares his theory on why GOP members in Congress are eager to be seen supporting the president. Then, we get the latest word on the rainbow trout, zebra mussels, and Eastern spotted skunks that the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism is keeping an eye on.

Mitch Bennett / Flickr -- CC

Meet a young musician who's starting to make a name for herself in Kansas City ... and who is putting some of her success towards helping the city's homeless.

Then: how often do you think about the trees in our area? Since the 1940s, an organization called American Forests has been tracking the oldest and largest trees in the country — champion trees. We hear about the champion trees near us, along with the beloved trees in and around KC.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3

Few things capture the respect that nature commands than a massive, looming tree. But the trees found on this list are special. They’re “champion trees” — the largest recorded living trees of their kinds.

 

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3 FM

Fort Leavenworth isn't just a military base with a lot of historic architecture. It's also a place where you can find one of Kansas' oldest trees.

Just east of the airfield there is a 200-acre stretch of land on a flood plain that's become an accidental wildlife refuge. It's the largest stretch of contiguous forest along the lower Missouri River.

fleecetraveler / Flickr -- CC

Some of the oldest and most diverse residents of Kansas City are its trees. As a new tree-planting effort is underway, get to know KC through its trees ... and learn about what we should and shouldn't plant here.

Plus: what are we really getting at when we point to freedom of speech to justify certain thoughts?

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Cycling 10,000 miles would be plenty of work for anyone. For Sara Dykman it's a labor of love.

The Johnson County native is pedaling her way from the mountains of Central Mexico all the way up to Southern Ontario, Canada, following the migratory pattern of millions of monarch butterflies.

"I love animals," Dykman says. "I like the underdogs — and lots of insects are ignored — but there is this one beautiful butterfly that everyone can get behind."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The monarch butterfly migration is one of the most beautiful phenomena in nature. Today, we speak with an Overland Park native who is following the migration on her bike, a 10,000-mile trip. Then, we shine a spotlight on Angel Flight Central, a Kansas City charity staffed by volunteer pilots who fly patients in need to essential medical care.

GarrettTT / Flickr -- CC

When you flip a light switch or plug something into an outlet, something usually happens. Lights come on, iPhones get charged. But where does that energy come from in Kansas City? How are we using it, and what is the future of energy here?

Then, the story of Aldo Leopold, a Missourian and a passionate early writer about nature and conservation.

Guests:

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

The questions never stop coming. All fall and winter, people have not forgotten the 2016 outbreak of oak leaf itch mites. This itch mite is the pest that caused your friends and neighbors to hibernate indoors until a hard freeze brought this apocalypse to an end.

TEDxKC

For the second year running, Up To Date has invited presenters from TEDxKC to fill us in on their work.

Echo Bluff State Park is officially open.

Gov. Jay Nixon cut the ribbon Saturday on Missouri's newest park, which is being promoted as a hub from which visitors can explore the state's Ozark region.

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: A KU professor, who studies how lizards branch into various species, has come to some pretty big conclusions on what defines a species.

Guest:

Many people dismiss Kansas as flyover country: squares and rectangles in a vast farmland quilt. A Lawrence author begs to differ; he spent years exploring the undiscovered wilderness in the state. He shares the last wild spots that still exist around Kansas ... and in the KC suburbs.

Guest:

Robert Clark / Feathers: Displays of Brilliant Plumage, Chronicle Books, 2016

Kansas native Robert Clark has grown up to be a National Geographic photographer whose most recent book depicts beautiful feathers from all over the world. How a Kansas youth spent feather-collecting and a job photographing athletes for a Hays, Kansas newspaper helped his career take off.

Guest:

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

If you just want to see the video, scroll down

I'm not afraid to admit that I'm scared of heights. Standing 50 feet off the ground on a lightly swaying tree platform at the new Go Ape Zip Line and Treetop Adventure in Kansas City's Swope Park didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence in my heart — at first. 

But the two safety cables attached to my harness (which are strong enough to support an SUV with five people in it) ease my instinctual concern. 

A KU professor, who studies how lizards branch into various species, has come to some pretty big conclusions on what defines a species.

Guest:

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