Nature Needs Half Podcast

The podcast where we get real about saving nature.

Photo by Neil Godding

Welcome to the show!

Join our hosts, Ruth Midgley and Courtney Burk, while they talk to experts from around the world on the problems facing nature and how we can solve them. From elephants in Mali to mangrove forests in the Kingdom of Tonga, the Nature Needs Half Podcast will explore biodiversity, talk about our relationship to the planet, and introduce you to the people who are fighting to save nature.

Nature Needs Half is an international movement to give nature the space it needs to thrive and benefit all life on earth. The goal is to protect 50% of the planet, on both land and at sea, to save biodiversity and earth’s life support systems. But It’s not just about protecting half. It’s about reshaping our relationship with nature, so we take care of its needs so it can keep taking care of ours.

50% by 2050

Why 2020?

We can stop the sixth mass extinction if we protect approximately 50% of the 846 ecoregions that provide habitat for all of Earth's biodiversity. That means finding leaders and organizations around the world willing to align exisiting efforts around protecting and interconnecting nature in the region.

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Meet Your Hosts

Two gals exploring this big, beautiful planet and the problems facing nature. The Nature Needs Half Podcast will invite you into the global network of people working to protect the planet for the benefit of all life.

Ruth Midgley and Courtney Burk

Ruth and Courtney are the hosts and producers of the Nature Needs Half Podcast. In their real lives, they work for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), a large-landscape conservation organization. As nature nerds, they were inspired by the Nature Needs Half movement and wanted to combine their love of nature with their other hobby of avid podcast listening. This is their first podcasting endeavor and they would love to hear feedback from listeners.

They live in Canmore, Alberta where they enjoy rock climbing in the summer and ski touring in the winter. Courtney is an ultrarunner and Ruth likes to pretend that she runs. If they aren't outside, you can find them crafting (Ruth sewing and Courtney knitting) while plotting their next podcast episode.

Follow them on social media!

Ruth's Twitter: @ruth_midgley 

Courtney's Instagram: @shortneyxox

Episodes Catalogue

March 21, 2019

It's All About That Whale Poop

Elephants, whales, and humans, oh my! For the start of Season 1, we wanted to make a big impression so we take a look at some big creatures. We hear stories about insurgents in Mali, rescuing humpback whales, and what to do if your party yacht is about to go over Niagara Falls.

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April 4, 2019

A Big Idea

We sit down with one of the co-founders of Nature Needs Half, Harvey Locke, and talk to him about how the crazy (or not so crazy?) idea for protecting half the planet came about. We also ask Harvey how protecting half the world will work and what it will mean for humans and nature.

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April 18, 2019

Go With The Flows

Everything in nature is a cycle, it ebbs and flows, and it's all connected. But what exactly does that mean? This week we talk to Scott Wallace and Monika Havelka who share surprising stories about ecosystems and how we are changing them, for good and bad.

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May 2, 2019

All You Need Is Love

If we give nature half a chance, Kaboom! A lot can happen. This week we explore how love, reconciliation, and the power of imagination can change our world.

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June 6, 2019

Into The Blue

Our oceans cover about 70% of our planet - what do we need to do to protect them? This week we take a deep dive into the blue to look at how our oceans are changing with the help of basking sharks, small island communities, and Paul the octopus.

June 20, 2019

Why did the grizzly bear cross the road?

Why did the grizzly bear cross the road? Maybe for love or maybe for a snack! Many animals need room to roam, and sometimes the areas we protect just aren’t enough. This week we talk to renowned biologist Mark Boyce and Yellowstone to Yukon president and chief scientist Jodi Hilty as we learn about just how much space wildlife needs to thrive and survive.

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July 4, 2019

Two Long Walks

'You're going to learn everything you'll learn about caribou in the first week, because that's how long it's going to take them to leave you behind.' Migrating with a caribou herd and walking 3200 km from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to Canada's Yukon are just some of the adventures Karsten Heuer has been on and that we can only dream about. He shared his stories with us and what he learned along the way.

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July 18, 2019

The Big Challenge

It's big and it's scary, but despite it all, there is hope. In the final episode of our season, we tackle the issue that has been looming over our heads: climate change. We spoke to two knowledgeable women, Louise Comeau and Susan R. Eaton, about what climate change looks like, what we can do about it, and how to remain hopeful in the face of it all.

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August 24, 2020

Healthy planet, healthy humans

What do pandemics, human health, and the economy have in common? Nature. Dr. Enric Sala, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, joins us to talk about how human health and the health of our planet are intertwined. And how every dollar we invest in protecting areas, nature gives us at least $5 in return. Now that's a good investment!

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Have a question, comment, or idea for the show?

Please send us an email at [email protected].