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courtesy Samuel Blanc, Wikimedia

Cool off: Count seals in Antarctica from the comfort of your couch

Pretty cool--you can count seals in Antarctica, right from your couch, via satellite images. Dr. Michelle LaRue is a research ecologist at the U of MN Department of Earth Sciences and lead researcher on the project, which is called "Satellites Over Seals." She talked with Dick about what they're studying, why the seal count is important, and why they've turned to the public for help. It's easy to get started counting seals--just go to and follow the instructions. 

Perseid Meteor Shower (Nick Ares /Wikimedia Commons)

Perseid meteor showers peaking overnight this Thursday, Aug. 11...and more about the night sky

Perseid meteor showers peak the week of Aug. 8...and best overnight Thursday night. One of our favorite regular guests, Bob King, chatted with Dave about when and where to see them, and how to get pictures, too. Lots of great info here including where to get the best northern lights predictions, aurora apps for your phone, and a simple explanation of what a meteor shower actually is. Bob is a photographer and photo editor at the Duluth News Tribune, and writes the popular Astrobob blog. 

grocery aisle1.jpg

Avoid being 'greenwashed' when looking for environmentally-friendly products

What do those labels on 'ecofriendly' products really mean? Dave chatted with Dr. Tim Smith of the U of MN Institute on the Environment's NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise to learn what to look for and how to better read those labels. Dr. Smith suggests the Good Guide phone app as one of many tools to help make more environmentally-friendly buying decisions.  

Bolstad's Rain Garden

Northern Gardening talks all about rain gardens

Rain gardens are growing in Cook County! 

Beth Homa harvests birch bark

Harvesting birch bark with Beth Homa-Style

Beth Homa-Style is a former North House intern and professional birch bark weaver and artisan based out of Minneapolis.


U of MN looks for public input on prioritizing invasive species

Researchers at the MN Invasive Terrestrial Plants & Pests Center recently compiled an extensive paper that ranks the 124 top invaders--and now they're looking for input from you. Dick spoke with Rob Venette, director of the center, and Heather Koop, associate director, about the report, why it's important, and how you can help. They're accepting public input on their website through July 29.

Superior National Forest scene

Forest bathing---improve your health by immersing yourself in nature

Ever hear of forest bathing? It's an idea that comes from Japan, of literally immersing yourself in nature to improve your mental and physical health. Dr. Jean Larson of the Center for Spirituality & Healing and the U of MN Arboretum joined Dave recently to explain why getting out into the forest, away from the bustle of modern urban life, is good for body and soul. 

BWCAW campsite

Tofte District Ranger Kurt Steele talks safety & ethics in the woods

Just in time for the holiday weekend, we checked in with Kurt Steele, district ranger for the Tofte district of the U.S. Forest Service. He talked with Dick about safety, ethics, permits, and much more.

Citizens' Climate Lobby addresses climate change

The Citizens' Climate Lobby is a nonpartisan group working to spread the idea that each one of us can help to address climate change.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior pollution is WTIP conversation topic

Everyone knows water runs downhill.