nature

Dr. James E. Zablotny / USDA

An invasive beetle is expected to move west in Iowa, prompting one city to look into how to deal with it.

andremuc71 / Flickr

There are no National Parks in Iowa, and few across the Midwest. Joe Schomberg, a Fort Dodge native living in Chicago wants to change that.

Katie Peikes / IPR

An environmental group has bought a vast property in western Iowa’s Loess Hills. The purchase will allow them to preserve native prairie.

Fairchild Air Force Base

Whether it’s a technological debacle, an encounter with dangerous wildlife, or quicksand, fast thinking and expert advice can make all the difference when encountering a worst-case scenario. 

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer spoke with  New York Times best-selling authors of "The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook," which was recently released in a new edition.  

Guests:

  • Dave Borgenicht- Author of  "The Worst-Case Scenario Handbook"
  • Josh Piven- Author of  "The Worst-Case Scenario Handbook"

guizmo_68 / Wikimedia Commons

This time of year nature lovers and ornithophiles alike can go out and witness the wild and wonderful mating displays of a strange looking little bird, the American Woodcock.  

"It's nothing I can define, it's nothing tangible, but boy, you spend a few evenings in the woods or on the edge of the woods watching these guys, and they just get into your heart like few other species can," says naturalist Greg Hoch.

USFWS/Ann Froschauer

 

Feel like braving the dark? Those who head outside after nightfall are sure to be rewarded with natural sights and sounds unlike anything available during daylight hours.

 

Iowa Conservation Education Coalition

This summer we’ve seen below average temperatures, above average temperatures, very dry conditions, and flooding. The weather has been stressing a lot of people out and it’s taken a toll on some trees.

On this Horticulture Day edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Jeff Iles, professor and chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, and Mark Vistosh, DNR forester, about how to identify when your trees might be struggling.

Community Environmental Council

In the last three decades, the Earth has lost half of its coral reefs. In 2016, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef lost nearly 30 percent of its coral. In 2017, this number rose to 50 percent.

While there are a number of different factors at play, it's increasingly clear that the warming of the world's oceans are a major contributor to this loss.

Bird Feeding 101

Nov 14, 2017
Image courtesy of Paul Brennan

Winter can be a wonderful time to see wildlife, and for some of the best viewing, you don’t even have to get cold. Wildlife Biologist Jim Pease talks about the natural intimacy of attracting winter birds to your bird feeder.

Ken Brown

Ken Brown, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Iowa Tippie School of Business, says he took the plunge and booked a trip to the remote continent of Antarctica, because his 81-year father Bob said such a journey was on his "bucket list."  It was a magical trip, Brown told us, but he still worries about the the continent's future.

Trinity University Press

Different varieties of the Dogwood tree are found all over the world.  It's said the beautiful ornamental trees got their name because when the wind blows and the branches knock together, it sounds like a dog barking.   The large fragrant blooms are said to bring luck.  Christopher Merrill, a prolific writer and long-time head of the University of Iowa International Writing Program, first fell in love with the Dogwood when he worked in a nursery and garden center in Seattle.

John Downer Productions Ltd. / BBC

Chimpanzees are human's closest living animal relatives. They share 99 percent of human DNA and quite a bit of behavior, both positive and negative.

On this Talk of Iowa segment, Charity Nebbe speaks with primatologist and anthropology professor at Iowa State University, Jill Pruetz. For the last sixteen years she has studied the lives of Savanna chimpanzees in Fongoli, Senegal, and these chimps are featured in the new BBC series, Spy in the Wild, premiering tonight at 7 p.m. CST on Iowa Public Television.

Basic Books

Dan Flores, author of ten books on western U.S. history, calls coyotes "an American original," having evolved in North America over five million years ago.  Many people tried to kill them off as late as the 1960s, but they have bounced back and are now found in all states except Delaware and Hawaii.

Conservation Fund

Prairie-chickens once thrived in the prairies of Iowa, but by just after 1900, they were on the verge of extinction.  Today, these beautiful birds with a unique mating ritual can be found in only 9 of Iowa's 99 counties.

Ty Smedes

Iowa is a beautiful state, but if you need someone to convince you of that, photographer Ty Smedes is the guy for the job.  His latest collection of Iowa nature photos is now out and they are moving and stunning.

The many wonderful photos of Iowa critters is collected in Smedes' new book, "Iowa's Wild Beauty" (Iowan Books).  Ty says he went to every corner of the state, from prairies to streams to forested wilderness areas, to take his pictures of rare plants, birds, mammals, reptiles and colorful butterflies. 

Courtesy photo

When you think about packing for summer camp some obvious items come to mind; sleeping bags, maybe a flashlight, or swimsuits. But a nature center in Northwest Iowa  is looking to add another item to the list, your grandparents.

It’s often difficult for kids and grandparents to coordinate their schedules to allow quality time together, but The Dickinson County Conservation Board in Okoboji is looking to make it easier and more fun than ever. Grandpa, Grandma & Me! is a new kind of day camp focused on bringing kids and their grandparents together for a unique camp experience.

Fresh Mushrooms: Hold The Mustard

May 1, 2015
IPR's Pat Blank

After being cooped up all winter, warm spring temperatures have invited many to venture outdoors into wooded and grassy areas. One group in particular is looking for morel mushrooms, a tasty treat for those who know where to find them.

This season, morel hunters are being asked to look out for another forest growth: the garlic mustard plant, which is a weed.

Rich Egger for Harveset Public Media

Land in Fulton County, Ill., that was farmed for more than 80 years is being returned to its original wetland state – and the early results are promising for what is now the Emiquon Nature Preserve.

“People give us credit for the way this looks now but it’s really Mother Nature that makes it look the way it does,” said Doug Blodgett, director of river conservation for the environmental group the Nature Conservancy.

Mary Thompson Riney

Despite news reports that highlight danger, the world is actually a much safer place for children than it once was.  Accidental death rates for children were much higher in the early 19th and 20th centuries.  And yet, children who were once encouraged to go outside and play, are now highly supervised in organized sports and spend more time watching television than playing outdoors.  On this Earth Day, Host Charity Nebbe talks with historian Pamela Riney-Kehrberg about her new book The Nature of Childhood: An Enivornmental History of Growing Up in America since 1865."  In it, Kehrbe

Backyard Ecosystems

Mar 10, 2014
Carsten Tolkmit / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

World Bank Photo Collection / flickr

Jane Goodall is famous for her groundbreaking observation of wild chimpanzees; but for the last 30 years, she’s devoted most of her time to traveling the world, telling her stories, and trying to fan the flames of an environmental movement that could save her beloved chimpanzees and so many other species from extinction.

USFWS Mountain Prairie

Every year more wildlife friendly habitat disappears from Iowa and many different species are paying the price.  Host Charity Nebbe discusses the importance of wildlife corridors and roadside prairies with wildlife biologist Jim Pease and Rebecca Kauten, program manager for Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management.  They explain how Iowa's species are suffering due to a lack of connecting habitat as well as both the history of the state's roadside prairies, and the pros and cons of these

JanetandPhil / flickr

We all know that Spring follows winter and summer follows spring, but when the snow melts, when the flowers bloom, and when the frogs sing from year to year can tell us a lot.

Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologist Jim Pease about phenology, the study of periodic plant and animal lifecycle events.

Derek Gavey

Richard Louv has written that “Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health.” Join host Charity Nebbe to hear from the man who coined the term “nature deficit disorder” about the importance of connecting with the natural world around us and the movement he helped to start.

Sarah Boden / Iowa Public Radio

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) manages almost 1,400 bison spread out amongst seven herds located in Iowa, Colorado, Oklahoma, Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota.  About 70 of these bison live at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City.

FWS aims to preserve the species genetic diversity with as little human intervention as possible by allowing the forces of natural selection determine which bison live and die.  However, because herds are isolated from each other the agency conducts genetic testing to prevent inbreeding.

Mark Hirsch

"That Tree" is a lonely Bur oak standing in the middle of a cornfield in Southwest Wisconsin. That Tree is a tree that sparked the imagination of photographer Mark Hirsch. Today on Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Hirsch about what drew him to That Tree and his year long odyssey, taking a picture of the tree every day for a year… and the stunning results.

Designed by M.C. Ginsberg’s custom design team in collaboration with the University of Iowa’s College of Public Health

The encephalitis virus can have some ugly consequences, but, it turns out, it can also be shaped into a beautiful pair of earrings. Today on Talk Of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks about infectious art inspired by disease and other artistic endeavors that are inspired by nature.

Urban Green Space and Health

Jun 14, 2013
Romel Jacinto

Researchers argue that spending time in nature can reduce stress and improve health.  In cities, it can be more challenging to find nature.  Guest host Ben Stanton talks about urban nature with Kathleen Wolf, the keynote speaker at today's Trees Forever Symposium in Des Moines. 

Flickr / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

They were once more common than white tailed deer, but now bison live only in controlled and managed herds.  Today on Talk of Iowa Charity Nebbe talks about why bison are so captivating as well as the future of bison in North America.

University of Iowa Press / James Landenberger

There is no substitute for seeing a soaring red tailed hawk, circling turkey vulture or bald eagle snatching a fish out of a river, but the paintings of the late James Landenberger capture some of the majesty of these moments.  Talk of Iowa talks about Iowa's birds of prey with Jon Stravers, is the the Driftless Area Coordinator for the National Audubon Society's

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