Nature Boost

Nature Boost podcast

Interested in exploring the outdoors, but unsure where to start? It’s as easy as stepping out your door! Join host Jill Pritchard from the Missouri Department of Conservation as she explores everything nature has to offer – from health benefits and wildlife viewing, to outdoor recreation and unbelievable conservation stories. Subscribe and get your own Nature Boost!

Jill Pritchard interviews a student
Jill tries to convince a St. Louis University student to help save the bees.
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  • Episode 1Getting Back to Our Roots: Join host Jill Pritchard as she discusses nature’s effect on our wellbeing with Jefferson City-based Wellness Practitioner Dianna Richardson. Also featured is St. Louis radio personality, Jeff Burton, who shares how hiking changed his life for the better. S1E1 Transcript
  • Episode 2 – Bee Kind: Jill talks to MDC Urban Wildlife Biologist Erin Shank and St. Louis University Biology Professor Dr. Gerardo Camilo to discuss the vital role bees play in our nutrition. S1E2 Transcript
  • Episode 3 – Blue Space: We’ve heard about how “Green Space” is great for health, but what about our lakes and rivers? This episode features MDC’s Stream and Watershed Chief Sherry Fischer and explores how clean and healthy waterways impact our health. S1E3 Transcript
  • Episode 4 – Good Chemis-tree: Jill speaks to MDC’S Trees Work Campaign Coordinator Holly Dentner and Sarah Crowder with the Heartland Tree Alliance to find out how their programs are improving Missouri’s communities one tree at a time. S1E4 Transcript
  • Episode 1 - Black Bears: Join Jill as she tags along on a black bear research trip in southern Missouri with MDC Furbearer Biologist Laura Conlee. Learn about Missouri’s growing bear population and how to stay “Bear Aware”. S2E1 Transcript
  • Episode 2 - Birds: Jill talks with Missouri Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick on why birds are awesome! Learn some basic bird calls and how to become a birder! S2E2 Transcript
  • Episode 3 - Elk: Did you know Missouri has an established elk population? Cervid Biologist Aaron Hildreth gives Jill a tour of Peck Ranch Conservation Area, where Missouri’s elk roam! S2E3 Transcript
  • Mini Boost - Bird is the Word!: State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick joins Nature Boost for round 2 on Missouri’s birds. She tells us why many populations are sadly in decline, but gives us tips on how we can each do our part to help reverse those numbers. Sarah also gives us good tips on winter bird watching, and why the cold season is a great time to pick up the hobby! MB01 Transcript
  • Mini Boost - Let's Go Hiking: Join Jill for Mini Nature Boost about hiking! Learn some quick tips that will motivate you to get out and discover nature! MB02 Transcript
  • Mini Boost - Self Care in Nature: Relax and de-stress as you discover ways to incorporate nature into your self-care routine! MB03 Transcript
  • Living With Wildlife: Jill gets together with Wildlife Programs Supervisor Lauren Hildreth and MDC Wildlife Damage Biologists Daryl Damron and Josh Wisdom to discuss how we can live in harmony with the natural world. Bonus 01 Transcript
  • Tracking Copperheads: Most people stay clear of snakes, but one team of researchers is on the hunt for one of Missouri’s most elusive species: the eastern copperhead! Jill interviews researchers at Powder Valley Nature Center and learns about their tracking efforts to better understand copperhead populations around the Kirkwood area. Bonus 02 Transcript
  • Episode 14: Morel Hunting: Join Jill as she sets out on a quest to find the elusive morel mushroom. She’s joined by MDC State Botanist Malissa Briggler, who gives her expertise on when and where to find these tasty morsels as they pop up during early spring! E14 Transcript
  • Episode 15: Nature Photography: Jill interviews MDC Photographer David Stonner. E15 Transcript
  • Episode 16: Camping: Jill speaks with Springfield Nature Center Manager Rudy Martinez, who gives listeners tips on gear, food, activities, and great places in Missouri to set up camp. E16 Transcript
  • Episode 17: Native Creatures: The Indigenous Mammals and Birds of Missouri: As Missouri celebrates its bicentennial in 2021, an art exhibition at the State Historical Society of Missouri is shining a light on the animals that inhabited the area at the time it became a state 200 years ago. Join Jill as she speaks with Curator of Art Collections Joan Stack about the images from John James Audubon and Charles Schwartz, and how changing landscapes throughout the years have impacted native wildlife. The exhibition runs through July 16. E17 Transcript
  • Episode 18: Family Camping Tradition: Head out on a bluff trail and into the crystal-clear waters of the Huzzah with the Newenhaus family from St. Louis. Their camping tradition spans sixty years, and they are sharing their adventures, and what keeps the generations together and returning every year. E18 Transcript
  • Episode 19: Fishing: Discover nature through fishing! Learn the basics from MDC’s wildlife artist and avid bass angler Alexis “AJ” Joyce. Learn about best times to wet a line, how to handle fish, and why MDC’s Mo Outdoors app is a great fishing companion! E19 Transcript
  • Episode 20: Floating the Missouri and Mississippi Confluence: Floating Missouri’s streams is a fantastic way to unwind and get a nature boost. In this episode, Jill joins certified paddling instructors Bob Virag, Craig Heaton, and Perry Whitaker for a float on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Get tips from the experts to make the most out of your next float trip, and even hear the story about how one of these guys attempted to break a kayaking world record! E20 Transcript
  • Episode 21: Missouri's Fall Color: Fall is finally here, but have you ever wondered why leaves change color? Jill gets the scoop from MDC Community Forester Ann Koenig, who explains how leaves turn and the best time to see fall foliage in Missouri. Be sure to check out MDC’s Fall Color Forecast to learn more at E21 Transcript
  • Episode 22: MDC K-9 Ride-Along: MDC’s Protection Unit recruited the help of five four-legged officers over the last year. Learn how these canine officers help conservation agents in investigations and outreach programs as Jill rides along with Agent Susan Swem and her partner K-9 Astro. E22 Transcript
  • Episode 23: Winter Eagle Watching: Discover nature this season through eagle watching! Join Jill as she speaks with MDC Resource Scientist Janet Haslerig about why winter is the best season to view bald eagles in Missouri. Jill also shares Christmas tree care tips and ways you can recycle your tree after the holidays. E23 Transcript
  • Episode 24: Maple Sugaring: Got a sweet tooth? Then this episode is for you! January and February are great times to get outdoors and taste one of the forest’s sweetest gifts – maple syrup. Jill talks with Rockwoods Reservation’s Amy Wilkinson to learn how to tap sugar maple trees to make syrup. E24 Transcript
  • Episode 25: The Ancient Sport of Falconry: You ever see those hawks sitting along highways or atop the trees? Some people use them to hunt small game! Learn about this ancient way to hunt as Jill speaks with Master Falconer Meagan Duffee-Yates and accompanies her on a duck hunt with her peregrine falcon, Sidewinder. E25 Transcript
  • Episode 26: Plant Natives For Spring!: Get your yard spring-ready and plant natives! Get tips from MDC Native Landscape Specialists Alix Daniel and Cydney Ross and watch your yard bloom with color and wildlife this year! E26 Transcript
  • Episode 27: Forest Park Owl Prowl.: Nature is everywhere – including in downtown St. Louis! Join Jill as she takes an owl prowl with Naturalist Mark Glenshaw, who has been observing a Great-Horned Owl in Forest Park since 2005! Learn all about this species, and even how to spot owls in nature on your own! Be sure to learn more about the Forest Park owls by following Mark on Twitter at @forestparkowls E27 Transcript
  • Episode 28: Itchy & Scratchy Summer: In this episode of Nature Boost, we’re discussing deterrents many people face when it comes to a Missouri summer – poison ivy, mosquitos, and ticks. Jill speaks with Runge Nature Center Manager Kevin Lohraff for tips on how to enjoy the outdoors without letting these plants and bloodsuckers ruin your time. This episode also explores how these unpopular members of nature contribute to the ecosystem. E28 Transcript
  • Episode 29: Revisiting Paddlefest: In June’s episode, we’re revisiting a Paddlefest event held at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary near St. Louis. We talk to multiple participants, re-learn some basic paddling techniques, and even hear the history of the area from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. E29 Transcript
  • Episode 30: Geese Banding: Tag along on geese banding efforts in mid-Missouri and learn why and how MDC biologists place waterfowl identification bands on Canada geese. E30 Transcript
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