Nature and the Meaning of Life

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This week on Terra Informa we’re discussing the connection between nature and psychology as part of CJSR’s special week of mental health programming. Tune in to learn how connecting with nature enhances well-being, and gives meaning in life. Prescriptions are free. 

Holli-Anne Passmore on Nature, Well-Being, and Meaning in Life

In this special episode focusing on mental health and nature, terra informer Dylan Hall speaks with Holli-Anne Passmore, a PhD Student in Psychological Sciences at the University of British Columbia. Holli-Anne is a positive psychology researcher whose main research areas include 1) how connecting with nature can enhance well-being; 2) meaning in life; 3) full aliveness. She recently started a Nature / Meaning in Life research lab (the Nature-MILL) at UBC for undergraduates interested in pursuing similar research interests. She will also be teaching a course on Meaning in Life at Grant MacEwan university this summer (2017). Listen in to find out how noticing nature inspires feelings of awe, connection, and purpose.  Then, look at the nearest plant, pet your dog, or go outside!

To find out more about Holli-Anne’s most recent study and the noticing nature intervention (and many more well-being interventions) check out The Greater Good in Action: https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/noticing_nature#

For more information on Holli-Anne Passmore: https://people.ok.ubc.ca/hapassmo

Download the episode here.

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Image by Simone Kousol-Graham.

COP 22 with Dessima Williams, UN Special Advisor

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Heads of delegations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), which led to the signing of the Paris Agreement. 

First up, news headlines on COP22 in Morocco from Climate Radio, a temporary FM radio station covering the Marrakech Climate Change Conference. Then, an ecobabble from our archives looking back at the 2015 Paris climate talks, followed by Climate radio’s inspirational interview with Dessima Williams, UN special advisor, urging young people to get involved with climate action.

 

What you need to know about the Paris climate talks

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is held once a year, bringing together members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The 2015 conference was held in Paris, France from November 30 to December 11. This EcoBabble was made leading up to the conference last year, to explain why it would be an especially important conference.

Dessima Williams, United Nations Special Advisor

Exclusive for Climate Radio, Dessima Willams, UN Special Advisor, calls on young people to demand and take sustainable development goals and climate action.

Sounds of Space & Thoughts for Our Future.

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Future Landscape by Naomi Vona, 2013

This week we take a look into the past and the great void, to shine some light on our current situation. First Shelley and Dylan talk to some Terra Informa Alumni about their experiences with Fun drive this year. Following that we listen to Ronald Wright as he discusses the past, and allows us to use this information when looking into the future. Lastly, we hear from Dr. Abram Hindle about his creative process when making music inspired by outer space.

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Talking Fun drive with some Alumni  

Alumni of Terra Informa talk with Shelley Jodoin and Dylan Hall about their experiences as Terra Informant’s at this years Fun drive.

The Trap of Progress

Last November, The Parkland Institute kicked off its sixteenth fall conference in Edmonton, Alberta. The theme was Petro, Power and Politics, and the opening keynote was delivered by writer Ronald Wright. Wright is best known for having delivered a CBC Massey Lecture which he called A Short History of Progress. For his lecture at the Parkland Institute, Wright drew on this earlier work to discuss our modern environmental crisis, including climate change and loss of biodiversity. To chart our possible future, Wright looks back to examine the collapse of civilizations all across the world. It’s depressing business, and more than one audience member asked the obvious question: is there any hope at all?

The Sound of Science: What the Universe Sounds Like

Alyssa Hindle and Matt Hirji interviewed Dr. Abram Hindle, a local computing science professor and Noise musician. Alyssa’s brother Abram uses his programming background with inspirations from nature and physics to create unique, and very technically based, sounds. Alyssa Hindle and Matt Hirji spoke with Abram Hindle about his Noise performances and music production.

More information:


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Composting Q&A: FunDrive 2016!

14368929414_16c1eee9d3_oCredit to Philip Cohen for the image. Source: Flickr. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. 

This week we’re sharing our composting segment from a special FunDrive edition of Terra Informa. Shelley Jodoin and Dylan Hall interviewed two composting experts to bring you the motivation and knowledge you need to start and maintain a healthy compost. Tune in to learn how to turn your hummus into humus and get into the dirty business of compost.

Thanks to our guests for sharing their expertise! Mark Stumpf-Allen is a Compost Doctor with the City of Edmonton and Jasmina Alihodzic is a certified master composter.

Thanks to all the donations last week that help make Terra Informa possible. It’s never too late to donate to CJSR 88.5 FM radio, so head on down to CJSR.com/donate!

Download the episode here.

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Animals Where You’d Least Expect to Find Them

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This week we jump into some interviews about animals in uncommon places here in Canada. Followed by an interview with a biologist who is also a hunter, discussing his thoughts on our relationship with wild animals.

 

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The Little Squirrel That Could

The Red Squirrel of the Yukon Territory weighs less than half a pound. Known for adorable chattering, collecting pine cones, and playfully scampering up trees, these guys may not seem like a very formidable presence when you consider their imposing surroundings in the great wilderness that is the Yukon.  But as we’ll soon find out, the red squirrel has a little trick up its sleeve. Matt Hirji spoke with University of Alberta biologist Stan Boutin to find out more about how these amazing little creatures survive in their harsh northern environment.

Urban Coyotes

With human populations ever-expanding our territory, wildlife coming out of their natural wild habitats and into the concrete jungles we call home is an increasing issue. This includes urban coyotes, a unique issue across North America.  In recent years urban populations have sprung up in cities including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.  Now city residents must to learn how to coexist alongside these opportunistic carnivores.  Started in 2008, the ongoing Edmonton Urban Coyote Project is a multi-faceted study of coyotes based out of the University of Alberta. Their goal is to collect information on the movement, habitat selection and diet of coyotes, as well as the knowledge and perceptions of residents. Maureen Murray, a masters student involved with the project, filled Rebekah Rooney in about their work.

More information at their website → http://www.edmontonurbancoyotes.ca/aboutus.php

Hunter/Biologist

Hunting can sometimes be a sensitive topic that raises some questions for animal lovers. When is an animal a friend and when is it food? Can you be a wildlife lover and also a meat eater? Kieran O’Donovan straddles an interesting an interesting line that gives him a pretty unique perspective on when an animal is a friend, and when it’s dinner. He’s a wildlife biologist and documentary filmmaker, but when he goes home to the Yukon, he’s also a hunter. Terra Informa’s Natalee Rawat sat down with Kieran to talk about how he sees our relationships with other animals.

Download program log here.
Photo by, Mike McHolm

Down to Earth with Some Out of this World Folks

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In this week’s episode some average-joe Terra Informers take a walk with the stars. Find out what is so exciting about the observatory even when you can’t see the stars, learn whats up with light pollution, and hear a down-to-earth interview with a man who has been to space and back.

Download episode here.

What’s space to you?

Many people come out to the University of Alberta observatory despite poor visibility. We wanted to find out: what would they think if they could no longer see the stars? And why would they spend a Thursday evening listening to a guy talk about hydrogen?

James Pinfold

A big concern for astronomers—amateurs and pros alike—is light pollution. Gazing at the stars gives us important knowledge about our place in the universe. Without that, we lose perspective.

But some might say, you know, there’s so much up there that we can’t see anyway. What can’t we see? and why we can see what we can? —those are questions Trevor Chow-Fraser had. Luckily there was a world famous particle physicist at the observatory that night. Thank your lucky stars! James Pinfold is a founding member of the ATLAS experiment and the spokesman for the MoEDAL experiment, both taking place at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

A Canadian Star Comes Back to Earth

Most of us will never know what it’s like being in space. We’ve all seen the pictures of that familiar, glowing blue and green orb out the window of a spaceship. We know what the that golden crescent we see in the sky every night really looks like. We have rich imaginations and an ages long fascination with what could be out there beyond the sky. But what does space smell like? What does it really feel like to know the vastness of it all? Our own Matt Hirji talked with Commander Chris Hadfield to try and understand questions like these.

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Photo by, NASA

Edmonton Based Inventor Victor Benitez’ Revolutionary Self Watering System

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This week on Terra Informa we hear from Dylan Hall who spoke with University of Alberta grad Victor Benitez about his innovative new design that may change the way we garden in an urban setting. Then we visit the archives where we receive an edifying conversation with economist, activist, and academic Raj Patel on food justice.

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Raj Patel: Choosing justice in our food

Most of us want to feel good about where our food comes from; we’d like to think that our food is healthy, that the farmland is worked responsibly, and that the land workers are treated justly. These feelings often translate into decisions we make at the grocery store, but how much choice do we really have when we’re pushing our shopping cart through those aisles? To find out, Chris Chang-Yen Phillips spoke with economist Raj Patel—a visiting scholar in the Center for African Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and an honorary research fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. We reached him in California.

Victor Benitez: Automated Urban Gardening & New College Work

Want to skip the choice that you need to make at the grocery store? Want to know exactly where your food comes from? Love the thought of gardening but don’t have the time? Victor Benitez, a recent physics graduate from the University of Alberta, is trying to find a solution to these questions. He has recently started a company, New College Work, based on technology he invented: a self-watering garden system. Terra Informer Dylan Hall spoke with Victor to find out the details and motives behind this ambitious project.
Website: http://www.newcollegework.com/

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Alternative Foods: Terra Informa Thanksgiving Special 

This week on Terra Informa we looked to the archives for some alternative dinner suggestions that will deviate from your classic turkey and potatoes thanksgiving dinner.

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Girl Gone Wild: Cooking Cattails

In this week’s edition of Girl Gone Wild, wildlife documentarian Jamie Pratt took Terra Informa’s Chris Chang-Yen Phillips out to cook up some cattails from her family’s backyard pond. Check out Girls Gone Wild on Twitter.

 Eating Insects

When we in North America think ‘delicious” our minds aren’t generally drawn to a fat and juicy caterpillar or a crispy chili-fried tarantula. However, after a recent UN report called for the world’s population to start consuming more insects as a more sustainable source of protein, fats, and minerals, while being easy and quick to produce, we may soon find insects of varying shapes and colours squirming their way onto our plates. Morgana Folkmann talks to entomophagist and advocate Dave Gracer about eating the things. Ryan Abram also shared his eating adventures in South East Asia.

Plant-Based Eggs

Which came first? The chicken? Or the egg? In Josh Tetrick’s California-based facility, the eggs they’re scrambling are coming to you from broken-down plant protein. Hampton Creek Foods was founded on the sensibility of sustainability, and concern for the planet. How to feed a rapidly growing population of more than 7 billion people? Food technology is an undeniable part of our future and Tetrick speaks to Natalee Rawat about his motives behind creating the first plant based egg.

Download program log here.