America’s National Parks Podcast
The Search for Dark Skies

The Search for Dark Skies

September 16, 2019

80 percent of the world’s population lives under what’s called “skyglow.” In the United States and Europe, 99 percent of the public can’t experience a natural night. Light is helpful to people, of course, but it’s also one of our greatest pollutants. Artificial light brings disastrous consequences to wildlife, especially birds, bats, insects, and sea turtles. 

This episode is a little different than most of our shows. Today, we travel to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where for generations, the night sky helped the original Polynesian sailors find their way across the sea. The audio comes from the park’s Voices of Science audio series, hosted by Brittni Connell, who talks with experts about light pollution and how the park is working to eradicate it. 

Ahwahnee

Ahwahnee

September 9, 2019

Who doesn't love a majestic National Park lodge? Splendid craftsmanship on a grand scale surrounded by the wonders of nature. Some lodges are full of just as many stories and secrets as the park that surrounds them. On this episode of America's National Parks, Yosemite's Ahwahnee hotel, and its service in World War 2.

Castle on the Coast

Castle on the Coast

September 1, 2019

Situated along the shores of St. Augustine in northeastern Florida stands the only surviving 17th-century military construction in the United States, Castillo de san Marcos. On this episode, the many faces of Castillo de san Marcos National Monument, as told by Rangers who preserve and protect this historic fort.

10 Days, 1,800 Miles

10 Days, 1,800 Miles

August 21, 2019

For 18 short months, a group of riders carried letters from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, and they did it in just 10 days. Crossing 1,800 miles of rough western terrain, at breakneck speeds, the Ponny Express tied the east to the west in ways that would become pivotal in the years to come.

On today's episode of America's National Parks Podcast, the Pony Express National Historic Trail and the riders who have become synonymous with the American West.

The Waving Girl of Savannah

The Waving Girl of Savannah

August 9, 2019

The Savannah river twists and turns for 301 miles in the Southeastern United States, forming most of the border between Georgia and South Carolina, before it's divided into channels by several islands near Savannah Georgia, and then spills into the Atlantic. The last of those islands holds a storied past, having played a role in both the revolutionary and civil wars, as well as World War II.

Today on America's National Parks, Cockspur Island, and Fort Pulaski National Monument.

The Voice of Wilderness in the Storm

The Voice of Wilderness in the Storm

August 2, 2019

In the early days of what is now Denali National Park and Preserve, one park scientist stood out among the rest. He was known for his tough, adventurous spirit, ground-breaking biological research, and inspiring communication. His name was Adolph Murie.

Restoring the Giants

Restoring the Giants

July 25, 2019

Awe-inspiring giant sequoia trees are among the largest living things on earth, but the opportunity to experience them is rare. Approximately 75 groves exist, and only along the southern Sierra's western slope on moist sites between about 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation. Giant Forest, one of the largest groves, was saved from logging by the establishment of Sequoia National Park in 1890. But national park status did not fully protect the big trees. 

On this episode of America’s National Parks, the restoration of the Giant Forest at Sequoia National Park.

Rangers Make the Difference III

Rangers Make the Difference III

July 19, 2019

Being a National Park Service Ranger is a multifaceted job, one that requires you to call on all your skills to bring a park to life. Whether it be through music, research, education, conservation, or day to day administrative work, Rangers give their all to the places they have sworn to protect, which is why every year the International Ranger Foundation sets aside July 31st as World Ranger Day. If you’ve listened to past episodes, you know our “Rangers Make the Difference” series began in part to celebrate World Ranger Day and to highlight National Park Service rangers who have gone above and beyond. Today’s episode, while unique in its focus, is no different. 

On this episode of America’s National Parks, the role that the art of music has played in helping our rangers bring the parks to life. 

Lincoln’s Throne

Lincoln’s Throne

July 12, 2019

For more than 100 years, no national memorial had been contemplated for any president except George Washington, yet talk of building one to honor the monumental legacy left by Abraham Lincoln began even as he lingered on his deathbed. There was an obvious appropriateness to the concept that Lincoln, the preserver of the Union, should join Washington, the founder of that Union, in being honored on the National Mall. 

On this episode of America’s National Parks, the Lincoln Memorial, part of the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington D.C.

 

238,900 Miles from Idaho

238,900 Miles from Idaho

July 6, 2019

50 years ago, in 1969, NASA sent astronauts to a remote location in southern Idaho. Their goal? To learn basic geology and study the local, relatively recent volcanic features located there in preparation for potential missions to the moon. On this episode, Craters of the Moon National Monument.