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Up From Dust

Humans broke the environment — but we can heal it, too.

Trees are swallowing prairies. Bees are starving for food. Farmland is washing away in the rain.

Up From Dust is a new podcast about the price of trying to shape the world around our needs, as seen from America’s breadbasket: Kansas.

Hosts Celia Llopis-Jepsen and David Condos wander across prairies, farm fields and suburbia to find the folks who are finding less damaging, more sustainable ways to fix our generational mistakes.

Coming in April from the NPR Network, KCUR Studios, and the Kansas News Service. Listen to the trailer now.

Listen to the podcast
  • It’s easy to advocate for saving pandas and elephants, but bugs are a harder sell. Look closer, though, and you’ll find tiny superheroes propping up entire ecosystems as pollinators, decomposers, predators and prey. We’ll wander the prairie with bison ranchers, in search of the dung beetles that work quiet miracles in huge piles of poop. And we’ll meet people overcoming their insect fears to help scientists catch and release bees, before they disappear.
  • A vast ocean of grass and wildflowers once covered one-third of North America. But that diverse prairie biome is collapsing, partly due to greenhouse gases and to our obsession with trees. Humans have unleashed an aggressive canopy that’s swallowing the Great Plains. For ranchers, saving the environment means being a tree killer — not a tree hugger.
  • Humans opened a Pandora’s box by moving plants, animals and fungi around the planet where they didn’t live before. Some of those species become so successful in their new surroundings that they crowd out others. Come along on a hunt for rogue Bradford pears, meet the teens turning cityscapes into butterfly havens and learn how to turn invasive plants into delicious food.
  • Trees are swallowing prairies. Bees are starving for food. Farmland is washing away in the rain. Humans broke the environment — but we can heal it, too. Up From Dust is a new podcast about the price of trying to shape the world around our needs, as seen from America’s breadbasket: Kansas. Hosts Celia Llopis-Jepsen and David Condos wander across prairies, farm fields and suburbia to find the folks who are finding less damaging, more sustainable ways to fix our generational mistakes. Coming soon from the Kansas News Service, KCUR Studios, and the NPR Network.
Dig deeper

Up From Dust is a production of the Kansas News Service and KCUR Studios, and a member of the NPR Podcast Network. The podcast is written by Celia Llopis-Jepsen and hosted and reported by Celia Llopis-Jepsen and David Condos. Mackenzie Martin is our senior producer. Editorial support from Scott Canon and Suzanne Hogan. Mix and sound design by Celia Llopis-Jepsen and Byron Love.

Music provided by David Condos, Thomas Laune, Milktooth, and Blue Dot Sessions. Artwork by Jessica Cornelison. Additional support from David McKeel, Anna Schmidt, Gabe Rosenberg, Stephen Koranda, Genevieve Des Marteau, Stephanie Kuo and Mike Russo.

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