America’s National Parks Podcast
Mary Colter and the Grand Canyon

Mary Colter and the Grand Canyon

November 20, 2021

One of the very few women architects of her time, Mary Colter blended her lifelong love and respect of Native American arts and rustic elements with a fierce perfectionism: all to create a beautiful and singular aesthetic that left her imprint on the look of the modern American Southwest.

Badlands Symbiotic Species — Prairie Dogs and Burrowing Owls

Badlands Symbiotic Species — Prairie Dogs and Burrowing Owls

November 3, 2021

Beneath the rolling grasslands of Badlands National Park lies an intricate housing system and social network. Black-tailed prairie dogs pop in and out of their burrows in the prairie dog towns, chattering and gesturing. But amid all the prairie dogs, if you’re a keen observer, you may also notice what appears to be a small owl emerging from the burrows. These species – the black-tailed prairie dog and the burrowing owl - have a unique type of symbiotic relationship, and ultimately may experience a shared demise. 

What Makes a National Trail?

What Makes a National Trail?

October 21, 2021

In this episode, a park superintendent Aaron Mahr tells us what makes a national trail special, and difficult to manage. 

National Park News | Monuments Restored, Sequoias Destroyed, Mammoth Grows, Wolves Killed, White Sands Discovery, & More

National Park News | Monuments Restored, Sequoias Destroyed, Mammoth Grows, Wolves Killed, White Sands Discovery, & More

October 10, 2021

Welcome to this month's "News from the Parks" our monthly roundup of top stories from the National Parks.

Climate Change and Glacier National Park

Climate Change and Glacier National Park

September 29, 2021

If you dare, dip your feet into the icy water of St. Mary Lake. The glacier-fed water adds a new twist to the term “refreshing.” It’s one of many sensory experiences at a park that attracts more and more people who want to see the glaciers before they are gone. 

Glacier National Park, in northern Montana, is a crown jewel of the United States. Its pristine landscapes draw millions of visitors a year, to see its majestic mountains, jewel-colored waterfalls, carpets of wildflowers, and wildlife ranging from bald eagles to mountain goats and bighorn sheep to grizzly bears. But mostly people come to see the glaciers, these fields of ice that – by definition – move under their own weight, picking up rocks and debris that sometimes stain their brilliant blue hue with a hint of grey.

A Music Mecca

A Music Mecca

September 23, 2021

Joshua Tree National Park in southern California encompasses parts of both the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. This unique ecosystem conjures images of the iconic trees, desert washes, wondrous boulders, rattlesnakes, and cactus blooms. But long before it became a national park (or even a national monument prior to that), this area was home to people, from Native Americans to pioneers – cattlemen, homesteaders, and miners – and where you find people, you find music.

Songs of Joshua Tree

Songs of Joshua Tree

September 14, 2021

Nestled between the San Bernardino and Coxcomb Mountains lies the confluence of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, where the wind rushes through the rocks and valleys. At night it’s the only sound, other than the occasional hoot of an owl and the sound of your own breath. This is the soundtrack of Joshua Tree National Park.

New NPS Director, More than Half of Lassen Burned | National Park News

New NPS Director, More than Half of Lassen Burned | National Park News

September 6, 2021

There's a newly nominated candidate for NPS Director, a position that has been vacant for more than 4 years. Meanwhile, well over half of Lassen Volcanic National Park has been burned by the Dixie Fire. It's time for this month's National Park News.

Novarupta

Novarupta

August 28, 2021

In early June 1912, residents of southeast Alaska began to feel earthquakes daily. Earthquakes are common in this region, which is well-known for its geologic instability, though these were getting stronger. The remaining two families at Katmai village evacuated, and they were just in time. On June 6th, the largest volcanic eruption of the twentieth century exploded. The skies darkened and the sun disappeared for more than 60 hours, and the aftermath of the explosion was felt hundreds of miles away.

This week on America’s National Parks: the Novarupta volcano in Katmai National Park.

Mary Kwart: Wildland Fire Pioneer

Mary Kwart: Wildland Fire Pioneer

August 18, 2021

 

As fires rage across the west in what will likely be the worst year for wildland fires on record, brave people face them head-on, to save our structures and our lives. The fraternity of American firefighters has always been a boys club — today only about 4% are women. And wildland firefighters even more so. In the early 1980s, one woman was among the first to join the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, an elite National Park Service crew, stationed at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in California. 

The text of today's episode comes from Women’s Voices: Women in the National Park Service Oral History Project and the audio comes from an oral history interview conducted by Lu Ann Jones and Leah Baer of the National Park Service Park History Program earlier this year. 

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