Big fan of podcasts? You’re not alone. In 2020, more than 100 million Americans listened to at least one podcast each month.
Podcasts can provide access to on-the-go environmental education. But with millions of episodes available to download, it can be challenging to know where to start if you are new to the platform.
Below, we’ve curated a list of thought-provoking, informative, and entertaining environmental podcasts, just in time for Earth Day 2021. These podcasts will transport you to the outdoors and introduce you to fascinating stories from the world of conservation.
This podcast, hosted by Matt and Brad Kirouac, celebrates the National Parks with stories about travel, history, culture, and community that pursue a common goal of helping listeners become #UnitedByNature.
Start here: Learn about Black Birders Week with Nicole Jackson, one of the co-founders of an annual event seeking to create more inclusivity in the outdoors.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Podcast
Take a journey through the fascinating history and dynamic environment of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, one of the most unique biological landscapes in the world.
Start here: This February 2021 episode honors the Buffalo Soldiers. They constructed the precursor to today’s Mauna Loa Trail, which travels to the summit of a 13,000-foot peak
iQ: smart parent
WQED-TV hosts this television series and social network to empower parents with new knowledge and tools to successfully guide their children’s use of digital media and technology.
Start here: On Episode 702, NEEF’s Vice President of Programs Sara Espinoza explores opportunities for young people to use their STEM skills and curiosity as a citizen scientist.
This podcast was started by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the "Your Forests Your Future" campaign to help the public engage with federal forest planning. While the episodes are now a couple of years old, the stories are still relevant today.
Start here: Season 2, Episode 7 (“Ya ’a’ tey”) explores the intersection of public health and public lands. Sometimes, the outdoors can be medicine.
This podcast examines our relationship with nature and seeks to redefine what “outdoorsy” means by amplifying Black, Indigenous, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and other voices.
Start here: Season 1, Episode 3 tells the impactful true story of how gardening became an act of resilience at the Manzanar concentration camp during World War II.
Radiolab for Kids
Radiolab is one of the most popular podcasts out there—but did you know they curate some of their favorite episodes into family-friendly content, many with a science focus?
Start here: If you could wipe mosquitoes off the face of the planet, would you? Science writer David Quammen discusses the ecological risks of getting rid of one of the world’s least-favorite insects.
Since 2016, host Gale Straub has collected the stories of women who are inspired by time spent outside. With episodes touching on themes such as entrepreneurship, aging, diversity, and conservation, some of these far-reaching interviews would probably receive a “PG” rating.
Start here: Episode 175 (“Where There’s Smoke”) features stories from outdoorists about how adventures in some of their favorite places have been impacted by climate change.
Talking With Green Teachers
This podcast from Green Teacher, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping educators promote environmental awareness, features interviews with environmental educators from around the globe.
Start here: Episode 08 discusses the role of ecotourism companies and consumers alike in promoting responsible and ethical tourism in the outdoors.
The Sustainability Agenda
A weekly podcast exploring today’s biggest sustainability topics, from climate change to corporate sustainability and environmental justice.
Start here: Episode 73 examines the intertwined issues of biological diversity and climate change with Professor Thomas Lovejoy, known as the “godfather of biodiversity” for first introducing the term biological diversity.
This “story-first” podcast celebrates nuance. It takes a deep dive into one environmental issue each season, examining different, and at times opposing, perspectives.
Start here: The first season digs into our complicated history with bison, America’s national mammal, and asks a question: could we ever live with wild, free-roaming bison again?
A podcast about life on a warming planet, hosted by two scientists. The current season focuses on the human stories behind the climate data.
Start here: This February 2021 episode explores indigenous traditional ecological knowledge as it relates to wildfire and forest management, including how Native communities are preparing for climate change.
The Wild with Chris Morgan
This immersive podcast explores the complex ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Host Chris Morgan shares the stories of people who are working to help the wild places around us thrive.
Start here: Episode 9 explains the challenges facing the “ghost bears” of Washington state. Plus, you’ll also learn about the host’s fascinating 30-year quest to study—and protect—bears around the world.