Forestcast: New NRS podcast explores the science of forestry

Forestcast logo

WISCONSIN – Forestcast, a new podcast launched by the Northern Research Station on Thursday, Feb. 27, gives listeners insight into research in a region bounded by Maine, Minnesota, Missouri and Maryland and will introduce scientists and partners whose work is used by a wide spectrum of forest managers. The first season of Forestcast is titled “Balance and Barrier,” a reference to a seminal work on invasion ecology by Charles S. Elton, and focuses on the most damaging insects confronting forests in the Northeast and Midwest.

“Podcasting is both a very popular medium and a flexible tool with which to tell stories from around the entire station,” according to Jim Lootens-White, acting assistant director of communication for the Northern Research Station. “What really made this possible for us was finding an incredibly capable audio producer, Jonathan Yales. We worked with Jon on defining the story, and from there he was able to research, write, interview and produce the entire series.”

“Balance and Barrier” begins with a look at how insect invasions progress and then hones in on specific insects and what scientists have learned about controlling invasions of gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, hemlock wooly adelgid and Asian longhorned beetle. The series ends with a look at potential new invasive insect threats the region faces. Season one is comprised of six episodes, which will be posted on a weekly basis. You can listen to episode one through NRS’ online website. You can also listen to Forestcast via SpotifyApple Podcasts or any of your favorite podcatching apps.

Yales is working with the station’s Communication and Science Delivery team via a research joint venture agreement with Michigan State University. Season Two is currently in production and is focused on another aspect of insect and disease invasion: work to restore iconic tree species such as American elm and American chestnut.

As Northern Research Station’s Communication and Science Delivery team worked with Yales to develop Forestcast, national multimedia manager Cecilio (Rick) Ricardo was working in the Office of Communication to establish podcasting standards (internal link) and a national podcast distribution site on Libsyn. The new standards are designed to result in high-quality audio, user-friendly storage, accessibility and legal audio and music usage.