We Are Nature

We Are Nature

Stories about natural histories and livable futures presented by Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Season One centers climate action, and how humans are working together towards a just and joyous future for all life. Hear interviews from the frontlines of climate change mitigation, adaptation, and justice with people who grow our food, protect our greenspaces, and fight polluting industries. Researchers at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and host Michael Pisano connect these community climate action stories to natural history, ecology, and environmental science.


February 10, 2023 60 mins

On today’s show, the last episode of Season 1, we look ahead at possible futures. Join us in imagining a planet with space and dignity for all earthlings. Featuring Museum Director Gretchen Baker, Curator Nicole Heller, and Educator Taiji Nelson from Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Watch the companion We Are Nature video series here.

Episode Credits: Produced by Taiji Nelson and Michael Pisano. Editing by Michael Pisano. Music by...

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Bugs make the world go around. Well, bugs and fungi. And bacteria. And algae. And…ok, it’s all important. We humans rely on many tiny neighbors, and now more than ever, their future relies on us. Come along on a visit to Pittsburgh’s Garfield Commnity Farm, and travel back to the Cretaceous to learn about the origins of flowers. Featuring the farm’s Community Engagement Coordinator AJ Monsma, youth farmer Israel, and Israel’s frien...

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January 20, 2023 66 mins

Biodiversity is key to our resilience as the climate changes. Our guest today is Conservation Biologist Charles Bier, Senior Director of Conservation Science the at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Charles has nurtured a deep relationship with Pennsylvanian nature since he was a six-year-old walking around with snakes in his pockets, and has spent his career trying to preserve our wonderful woods, wetlands and waterways.

Visit wate...

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January 13, 2023 63 mins

Tiffany Taulton is a climate policy expert, community organizer, professor of environmental justice, and one of the authors of Pittsburgh’s Climate Action Plan. She joins the show to talk about how our region is preparing for climate change, how that resilience benefits public health, and how climate action can embrace justice and equity.

Visit hazelwoodinitiative.org to learn more about the Hazelwood Initiative.

Watch the ...

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January 6, 2023 54 mins

How are labor and climate related? Today’s episode is all about supporting workers as the climate changes, and about work that supports climate action. Learn about labor history, a just transition, doughnuts and degrowth. Featuring Landforce’s Executive Director Ilyssa Manspeizer and Site Supervisor Shawn Taylor.

Visit landforcepgh.org to learn more about the great work Landforce is doing to care for people and greenspaces.

Watch the...

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December 16, 2022 60 mins

By taking care of greenspace, we care for ourselves. Hear about best practices for getting young people involved in land stewardship, and about how fostering a relationship with the outdoors is essential climate action. Featuring Naturalist Educator Nyjah Cephas and two of her students from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Young Naturalists program.

Visit pittsburghparks.org to learn more about the Young Naturalists internship, an...

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December 9, 2022 49 mins

Our globalized food system is already feeling the impacts of climate change. Today’s episode shows how decentralizing that food system can help us both be more resilient to extreme weather, and lessen industrial agriculture’s harmful effects. Featuring interviews with urban farmers at Braddock Farms.

Visit growpittsburgh.org to learn more about Braddock Farms and Grow Pittsburgh’s work to teach people how to grow food and promo...

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December 2, 2022 63 mins

Some freshwater mussels can live for over 100 years! During that time, they filter water and improve aquatic ecosystems. Today’s episode is about how aquatic life intersects with the human world. We’ll learn about everything from mussel charisma to climate-proofing infrastructure. Featuring an interview with Eric Chapman, Director of Aquatic Science at the Western PA Conservancy.

Visit waterlandlife.org to learn more about Western P...

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November 25, 2022 38 mins

Dr. Carla Rosenfeld is is the Carnegie Museum’s assistant curator of Earth Sciences in the section of Minerals and Earth Sciences. She also happens to study how pollutants and nutrients behave in the environments like abandoned minelands, of which Pennsylvania has maaany. We chat about interspecies collaboration, soil science, the importance of diversity, and much more.

You can learn more about Dr. Rosenfeld’s research at carlarosen...

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November 18, 2022 62 mins

There are less than 5,000 coal jobs left in the state of Pennsylvania, and that number is shrinking. That’s good news for the climate, but what’s next for the commonwealth’s coal communities? Join organizers from the Mountain Watershed Association for insight on building community, protecting public health, and creating new opportunities. Plus, the natural history of coal, water quality watchdogging, and much, much more!

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November 11, 2022 59 mins

Monoculture is messing up the climate. Befriending biodiversity–especially in the soil– can help! Featuring interviews with Michael Kovach (Regenerative Farmer & President of the PA Farmers Union) and Dr. Bonnie McGill (an Ecosystem Ecologist).

Learn more and watch the companion We Are Nature video series here.

Visit thewalnuthillfarm.com to learn more about the Kovach’s regenerative farm, and pafarmersunion.org to learn more abo...

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November 4, 2022 92 mins

Why should Pittsburghers care about climate change? What’s happening in our backyard, and how does it connect to the big picture? Representative Summer Lee joins us to talk about environmental racism, intersectional climate justice, and much more. Host Michael pops in and out with the natural history (and livable future?) of steel.

Resources for Air Quality and Climate Justice Action around Pittsburgh:
North Braddock...

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October 31, 2022 77 mins

A behind-the-scenes chat between co-hosts Taiji and Michael about effective climate change communication, plus our goals, hopes, dreams, and terrors for this first season.

Episode Credits: Produced by Taiji Nelson. Editing by Michael Pisano. Music by Amos Levy.

Follow Carnegie Museum of Natural History on Instagram, Tiktok, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

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Why is it so hard to talk about climate change without plunging into an anxious doomscroll? How can we change the ways that we talk about the story of life on earth to emphasize hope over despair, and collaboration over competition? Featuring Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad and Nicole Heller, Associate Curator of Anthropocene Studies for Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Episode Credits: Produced by Taiji Nelson. Research and editing by Mi...

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