About Future Ecologies
The format varies: from documentary storytelling to stream-of-consciousness sound collage, and beyond. Episodes are released only when they're ready, not on a fixed schedule (but approximately monthly).
This ad-free, independent podcast is supported by our community on Patreon: https://www.futureecologies.net/patrons
How do we account for nature? We can build on it and we can take from it, but what is its intrinsic value — in and of itself? On this episode: Adam Davis (of Ecosystem Investment Partners), and a cultural transformation happening right now — reshaping the intersection of environmentalism and capitalism. Welcome to the restoration economy. — — — Music: Thumbug, Local Artist, Yu Su, SFML Cover art: Alé Silva Thanks: Ian Wyatt, Ava Stanley, Aila Takenaka, Alex Janz Transcript, Citations, etc: https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-5-6-making-a-living — — — Help us keep making this show. Our supporters get access to early episode releases, a community discord server, discounted merch, and exclusive bonus content: for example, a follow-up Q&A session with Adam Davis. Did this episode leave you with questions? Join our community and ask for yourself (by Dec. 12)
Meet the Fire Watchers of Skeetchestn: the people keeping their community safe during nearby wildfires, and working to bring good fire back to the land. Join us for this conclusion to our visit to Secwépemc territories as we discuss a way to bring different knowledge systems together: a synthesis of western science and Indigenous understanding. This is the 5th instalment in our series of indeterminate length, "On Fire". While you don't need to listen to them in order, you may want to at least catch up Part 4 (Under Water) before diving into this one. – – – Links, citations, photos, episode transcript and more – – – 🌱 Future Ecologies is supported by our community of listeners like you. Join for as little as $1/month to access early episode releases, bonus and behind the scenes content, our discord server, and more at futureecologies.net/join
What happens after the smoke clears? What does recovery look like when the disasters never end? In this episode, we're visiting the sites of some of BC's biggest burns of 2017 and 2021 – making the link between the mega-fires and the floods and landslides that followed. We'll hear about how the land is (and isn't) recovering, and the factors that spell the difference. This is the 4th instalment in our series of indeterminate length, "On Fire", but don't feel obliged to listen to parts 1-3 beforehand. – – – Links, citations, photos, episode transcript and more – – – 🌱 Future Ecologies is supported by our community of listeners like you. Join us for as little as $1/month to access early episode releases, bonus and behind the scenes content, our discord server, and more at futureecologies.net/join
How do our dreams shape our reality? Tonight, with the help of scientists, artists, philosophers, and historians, we're sprinkling a little stardust on our understanding of the more-than-human — from fish, to demons and gods. This episode features the words and voices of Lucia Pietroiusti, Filipa Ramos, Alex Jordan, Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe, Rain Wu, Nahum Mantra, Onome Ekeh, Federico Campagna, Yussef Agbo-Ola, and Hatis Noit, recorded at The Shape of a Circle in the Dream of a Fish — a recurrent festival exploring ideas of consciousness, language and the mind across non-human species and beings, initiated in 2018 by the Serpentine Galleries and held in 2022 in partnership with the Galeria Municipal do Porto. With music by Yussef Agbo-Ola, Hatis Noit, Thumbug, and Any-Angled Light. Big thanks to Adam's Electric Sheep Radio co-hosts, Ryder Thomas White & Samantha Ruth, to Kostas Stasinopoulos, and to Arda Studios. — — — Love and strength to everyone affected by wildfires, floods, hurricanes, or other disasters right now. We're feeling... not great about planetary stability, and we'd bet you're in the same boat. This episode doesn't directly address the climate breakdown, but we hope it can at least be a reprieve — or even offer some ways to reframe a shared nightmare. Our next episode (on fire) is in the works. For now, we're wishing you safety, preparedness, and many moments of joy in all the life around you. Get to know your neighbours, and take care of each other. Maybe have a chat about holding climate criminals accountable. — — — Our supporters on Patreon get early episode releases, a lovely discord server, and other bonus content, including some of the unabridged presentations that went into this episode. Join our community at https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies — — — VANCOUVER: Spiders Song will return to Lobe Studio on Thursday, September 14th! Join us for this exploration of the music of evolution, presented in 4DSOUND spatial audio. 2 showtimes: 6:30pm and 8:30pm, both including a Q&A with Mendel. Tickets available on a sliding scale:
Spiders Song is a story about a quest to hear the greatest symphony on Earth: the music of evolution. Along the way, we get to know some of nature’s most surprising musicians — the paradise jumping spiders. Part 1 is the Spiders Part 2 is the Song Headphones advised. — — — For credits and much more, visit futureecologies.net/listen/fe-5-1-spiders-song Missed Part 1? You can find it wherever you get your podcasts, or at futureecologies.net — — — But there's more to this story than just a couple podcast episodes! We're also releasing an open-source system which may be used to hear evolutionary patterns as music. As you'll hear in Part 2, data sonification, the sonic equivalent of data visualization, has found applications in many scientific fields, but never before in phylogenetics: the study of evolutionary relationships. This sonification system is intended as an experimental platform for evolutionary biologists to explore and communicate their data through sound, and for musicians to take inspiration from biodiversity. It is built in Max/MSP, and released under a GNU-GPLv3 license for customization and further development. Find a lovingly illustrated explanation of our sonification at futureecologies.net/listen/fe-5-1-spiders-song#explanation Listen to / download the full length sonification on its own Get the source code and a detailed technical explanation, and Watch a video of the patch in action — — — Funding for this series was provided by the Canada Council for the Arts. But ongoing support for this podcast comes from listeners just like you. To keep this show going and growing, join our community at patreon.com/futureecologies Our patrons get early episode releases, exclusive bonus audio content, access to a fantastic discord server, 50% discounts on all merch, and more (eg. a livestream tour of the sonification system that we built).
Spiders Song is a story about a quest to hear the greatest symphony on Earth: the music of evolution. Along the way, we get to know some of nature’s most surprising musicians — the paradise jumping spiders. Part 1 is the Spiders Part 2 is the Song Headphones advised. — — — For credits and much more, visit futureecologies.net/listen/fe-5-1-spiders-song You can listen to Part 2 right now — find it wherever you get your podcasts, or at futureecologies.net — — — Funding for this series was provided by the Canada Council for the Arts. But ongoing support for this podcast comes from listeners just like you. To keep this show going and growing, join our community at patreon.com/futureecologies Our patrons get early episode releases, exclusive bonus audio content, access to a fantastic discord server, 50% discounts on all merch, and more
Get to know our friends and collaborators, Miriam Quick and Duncan Geere — the hosts of Loud Numbers, a data sonification podcast. How do data visualization and sonification differ? What are the possibilities and pitfalls? And how can you incorporate the practice into your life? — — — Hear the entire conversation wherever you get podcasts — join our community at patreon.com/futureecologies — — — Haven't heard our own data sonification yet? That's in Spiders Song (Part 2)
“We need geopoetics because geopolitics necessitate other ways of being… Proposing alternate narratives to the hegemonic ones we are caught in is the work and play of geopoetics.” – Erin Robinsong, Geopoetics in the Mess/Mesh Enclosed is the last episode of our 4th season: a sympoietic stream of consciousness; on language, art making, and more-than-human interconnection. Find a transcript, full credits, and citations here – – – We want to hear from you! Please take our brief listener survey Support our 5th season: Join our community on Patreon – – – The feet are the link Between earth and the body. Begin there. The lungs are the link between body and air. The hands, these uprooted feet, are the means Of our shaping and grasping. Clasp them. The eyes are the hands of the head; its feet are the ears. – Robert Bringhurst – – – With the voices and words of Michael Datura, Astrida Neimanis, Cosmo Sheldrake, Rex Weyler, Robert Bringhurst, Jan Zwicky, David Abram, Megan Gnanasihamany, Stephen Collis, Eric Magrane, Hari Alluri, Nadia Chaney, Kaitlyn Purcell, Khari McClelland, Rita Wong, Jessica Bebenek, Vicki Kelly, Mark Fettes, Marjorie Wonham, and Cecily Nicholson Music by Cosmo Sheldrake, Anne Bourne, Meredith Buck (as arranged by Vanessa Richards), Jonathan Kawchuk, the Time Zone Research Lab, Emily Millard, Khari McClelland, Ruby Singh, and Nathan Shubert, with field recordings by Julian Fisher.
At the heart of the Salish Sea lies the Fraser River Estuary: home to over half of the population of the Province of British Columbia, thousands of endemic species, and one world-famous pod of orcas. But as the human population of the region has grown, wildlife populations — including salmonids, orcas, and over 100 species at risk — have been plummeting. As economic imperatives press up against ecological thresholds, a mega-project that has been in development for over a decade is poised to further alter the character of the estuary, with massive implications for the health of Salish Sea and its many residents. In this episode, we ask: can we find ways to hear each other through all the noise? This episode was originally published in March 2022. We've added a brief update about some recent developments in 2023. Read more about the news here – – – This episode features Janie Wray, Misty MacDuffee, Steven Slə́qsit Stark, Marko Dekovic, and Stephanie Kwetásel'wet Wood With music by Ruby Singh (with Dawn Pemberton, Inuksuk MacKay, Russell Wallace, Shamik Bilgi, Tiffany Ayalik, and Tiffany Moses), Thumbug, and Sunfish Moon Light. This episode was produced by Mendel Skulski and Adam Huggins, with help from Megan Hockin Bennet and Lili Li. A full list of citations and a transcript can be found at our website: futureecologies.net/listen/fe-4-2-terminal
We work hard to make sure our music doesn’t just complement our voices, but actually tells a story all of its own. Now that our 4th Season is complete, as per usual, we’ve compiled all the original music that went into it, and we’re releasing it as an album. This year, that album takes the form of two companion volumes. Volume 1: Electrical Storms by Sunfish Moon Light Volume 2: Sympoiesis by thumbug Of course we're not responsible for all the music you hear on our show. We've borrowed tunes from so many truly great artists, often connected thematically or geographically to the content of that specific episode. You can discover each of them, and support their work at futureecologies.net/music — — — We want to hear from you — take our brief listener survey and help make Season 5 the best yet. 💖 Join our community: support Future Ecologies on Patreon to access our discord server, an exclusive bonus podcast feed, stickers, patches, and more Vancouver: Join mendel and friends for a PWYC panel on acoustic ecologies, ecopoetics, and biosonification, at the Lobe Spatial Sound Studio Spring Equinox Summit (Saturday March 25 @ 1PM) — — — BTW: we release all of our original music from each season. Previous soundtracks (all PWYC CC-BY-NC-SA): Season 1 Season 2 Scales of Change Season 3
From a distance, mountain landscapes may appear timeless and immutable. Take a closer look, however, and montane ecologies reveal themselves to be laboratories of radical transformation: rocks weather and fall; ecosystems burst into life for brief intervals; tree-lines shift; and wildfires rage. Even the very peaks themselves inch inexorably upwards or downwards with the flow of time. Amidst all the constant, unyielding change that animates the Earth's high places, people have long sought a vantage from which to survey this shifting terrain. Who can resist the romance of a breathtaking, mountaintop view? Or then to imagine what generations past might have seen from the same spot? In the mid 1990s, a small group of scientists in western Canada grew dissatisfied with mere imagining — they wanted to see that change for themselves. And in a forgotten corner of a national archive, they found some very heavy boxes that held a rare promise: an opportunity to look back in time at a landscape scale. – – – For musical credits, select photos, citations, links, and more, click here. Support the show and join our Patreon community – – – Learn more about the Mountain Legacy Project: mountainlegacy.ca Explore all the photos and data: explore.mountainlegacy.ca More on land cover classification | Webinar | Deep Dive
Can we sequester our carbon and eat it too? For the first time in 4 seasons, we're discussing natural climate solutions, and in particular, regenerative agriculture. Joining us is agrologist and fellow podcaster, Scott Gillespie (of Plants Dig Soil) to get into the nitty gritty of farming for soil carbon — its promise, possibility and feasibility. ——— Support Future Ecologies (pay what you can >$1/month) @ futureecologies.net/patrons 🌱 — Get access to our delightful discord server, early episode releases, an exclusive podcast feed for bonus content, and more: Find a full list of citations, and a transcript for this episode: futureecologies.net/listen/fe-4-8-ground-truthing
A story of memory, ghosting, and fire: how we can change the place we call home, and how it too can change around us. Another version of this story, along with many other works of art, can be found in the pages of Fire Season II – – – 💖 Support Future Ecologies: join our community on Patreon at futureecologies.net/patrons You'll get exclusive bonus content, access to one of the best discord servers out there, stickers, patches, early episode releases, and more! Find credits, citations, transcript, photos, and more at futureecologies.net/listen/fe-4-7-phase-change
What does it mean to live on an island? Is it to be independent from, or inexorably dependent on the rest of the world? And when the ecosystem's physical limitations are so clearly circumscribed, do people behave more "environmentally"? In this episode, we visit Adam's home island of Galiano, and find out just how big its ecological footprint really is. – – – Explore the full One Island, One Earth report (and interactive map) 💖 Support Future Ecologies: join our community on Patreon at futureecologies.net/patrons You'll get exclusive bonus content (like a blooper reel from this episode and extended interviews), access to one of the best discord servers out there, stickers, patches, early episode releases, and more! Full credits, citations, transcript, and lots more at futureecologies.net/listen/fe-4-6-an-island-unto-itself
The North American Model is just one story of how wildlife conservation can be practiced. In part 2 of this mini-series we tell another: of restorative human–predator relationships and local self-determination. We're bringing you a success story from the Great Bear Rainforest, and another articulation of how we can relate to wildlife — complete with its own set of guiding principles, naturally. For musical credits, citations, and more, click here. Click here for Part 1 – — – — – — Just over 200 people are making Future Ecologies possible on Patreon! Meet them all at futureecologies.net/patrons You too can join our community and help the show to grow @ patreon.com/futureecologies
North America abounds in wildlife — but why? At the turn of the last century, many observers believed that species that we take for granted today would disappear forever. In this episode, we share a story about the way that wildlife conservation came to be practiced, the lives that it privileged, and the lives that it left out. But despite any controversy, one aspect of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (or "the NAM" for our purposes) is indisputable: its principles explain the landscape of laws and institutions in which North Americans enjoy nature today. – – – For musical credits, citations, and more, click here. – – – Future Ecologies is only possible with the support of you, our listeners! Our patrons get early episode releases + other bonus content, a community discord server (which runs the gamut from meme trading, recipes and fermentation, nature sightings, media suggestions, to discussions on environmental restoration), plus stickers, patches, and more! We are an independent and unaffiliated podcast. Listener contributions make it possible for us to keep producing stories that matter, make them sound great, and keep them ad-free. Join our community of supporting listeners on Patreon for as little as $1/month
What can a brand new patch of nature tell us about Europe's ancient history? In this episode, we touch down in the Netherlands, where an unconventional experiment (the Oostvaardersplassen) has shaken up both the field of ecology and Dutch society. What started as a bird watcher’s obsession with thousands of trekking geese, led to a criticism of one of the central tenets in ecology: ecosystem succession. Enter a counter-theory that would return the rarest of birds, butterflies, and a once-extinct mega mammal to one of the most densely populated countries on earth. For photos, transcripts, citations, and musical credits, head to www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-4-3-a-tiny-wilderness – – – Future Ecologies is independent and ad-free. This podcast is possible thanks to our supporters on Patreon Join our community of supporting listeners (for as little as $1 per month) for access to early releases, a rad discord server, and more: ✨https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies ✨ If you'd prefer to support the show with a one-time donation, you can do so at https://www.futureecologies.net/donate And if you can't support the show financially, you can always leave us a nice rating (or even a review) wherever you listen. We post our favourites at https://www.futureecologies.net/#reviews 💖
At the heart of the Salish Sea lies the Fraser River Estuary: home to over half of the population of the Province of British Columbia, thousands of endemic species, and one world-famous pod of orcas. But as the human population of the region has grown, wildlife populations — including salmonids, orcas, and over 100 species at risk — have been plummeting. As economic imperatives press up against ecological thresholds, a mega-project that has been in development for over a decade is poised to further alter the character of the estuary, with massive implications for the health of Salish Sea and its many residents. In this episode, we ask: can we find ways to hear each other through all the noise? – – – For lots of photos, transcripts, citations, musical credits, and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's responses to our questions, head to www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-4-2-terminal UPDATE The decision to approve Roberts Bank Terminal 2 was announced on April 20, 2023 by Steven Guilbeault, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, who said “With 370 environmental protection measures that the port must meet, we have set a high bar for this project to proceed. For the first time ever, we are asking a proponent to put up $150 million to guarantee the strict environmental conditions are met and habitats are protected for species such as the Western Sandpiper. Moreover, this decision is paired with massive government investment in the protection of threatened species like Chinook salmon and endangered Southern resident killer whales. “ The measures that have been announced have not addressed the concerns of the environmental and labor movements that oppose the project. Misty MacDuffee, who you heard in this episode, responded: “All viability assessments of southern resident killer whales indicate their threats must be significantly lowered for recovery to occur. Approving this project does the opposite. It increases threats, worsens their feeding conditions and increases their likelihood of extinction.” While the approval has been made, this story is far from over. The project faces additional regulatory hurdles, a changing market environment, and continued opposition as it enters an estimated six years of construction. We’ll continue to follow the story as it unfolds and we’ll keep you updated. Read more about the Roberts Bank decision – – – Future Ecologies is independent and ad-free. This podcast is possible thanks to our supporters on Patreon Join our community of supporting listeners for access to early releases, a rad discord server, and more ✨https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies ✨ If you'd prefer to support the show with a one-time donation, you can do so at https://www.futureecologies.net/donate And if you can't support the show financially, you can always leave us a nice rating (or even a review) wherever you listen. We post our favourites at
Are agriculture and biodiversity always at odds? In the late 1970s, a radical environmental movement rejected this dichotomy — rebuking conventional farming in favour of holistic & mutualistic principles, with the dual promise of plentiful food and a vibrant ecosystem. When Permaculture was first articulated, it emerged from a simple question: why don’t our food systems look more like forests? In the tropics, traditional Indigenous agriculture integrated perennial foods crops so densely that their gardens had often been mistaken for jungle. Inspired by these techniques, permaculturists adapted forest gardening for the temperate world. But, in their enthusiasm, they too may have been missing the forest for the trees. Wherever you are, whatever you're going through, we hope you find solace by spending some time with us — in the garden. – – – For musical credits, episode transcript, citations, and more: https://www.futureecologies.net/listen/fe-4-1-forest-garden 🌱 Future Ecologies is independent and ad-free. This podcast is possible thanks to our supporters on Patreon Join our community of supporting listeners for access to early releases, a rad discord server, and more ✨https://www.patreon.com/futureecologies ✨
What is a border? Is it simply an edge: a sharp transition between one state and another? Or does it stretch beyond a single dimension, warping land and people through a self-perpetuating 'otherness'? In this final chapter of Goatwalker, we uncover the ties that bind ecosystems, identities, and communities of all sorts – migrant or otherwise. We'll walk a path to restorative justice: a way to foster new livelihoods through conservation programs and the many uses of an oft-overlooked keystone species of the desert southwest. Rigid borders are a foundational source of inequity. For as long as they persist, we face a growing need to care for the earth and for each other: to discover our own capacity for Sanctuary. From Future Ecologies, this is Goatwalker, Part Four: An Open Wound. --- Before this episode, we suggest you start with Part One of this series: On Errantry And then listen to Part Two: Sanctuary And then Part Three: Saguaro Juniper --- For musical credits, citations, and more, go to futureecologies.net/listen/fe-3-10-goatwalker-pt4-an-open-wound Help make Season 4 our best yet: Support the show and join our Patreon community at patreon.com/futureecologies --- As of August 2021, Jim Corbett’s "Goatwalking" has been re-issued in a new 2nd edition. You can purchase a hard copy or an e-book here A 2nd edition of "Sanctuary for All Life" is also now available from Cascabel Books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble