Nature Boost

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Nature Boost podcast
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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!

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Nature Boost Episodes
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  • 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
  • Tracking Copperheads - Bonus Episode: 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 mdc.mo.gov/fallcolor. 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
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  • 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
  • Episode 31: Monarch Mania: Butterflies are insects, but many of us think of them as something “more.” Perhaps it’s their beauty or the fact that they don’t bite or sting that makes people like them so much! Learn about the iconic monarch butterfly, their impressive migration journey, and what you can do to help support their population. E31 Transcript
  • Episode 32: The Twins of Cape Girardeau Nature Center: It’s getting close to Halloween season, and what better way to celebrate than learning about one of Missouri’s most unique snakes? Join Jill as she speaks with MDC Naturalist Alex Holmes about the two-headed black ratsnake at the Cape Girardeau Nature Center. E32 Transcript
  • Episode 33: Bats of Missouri: Feeling batty this month? Learn all about one of Halloween’s most iconic mascots in October’s episode. Jill speaks with MDC Bat Ecologist Jordan Meyer about types of bats found in Missouri, what they’re up to this time of year, and what to do if you happen to find one on your property. E33 Transcript
  • Episode 34: Talkin' Thanksgiving Turkey: Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday by learning more about the wild turkey. Wild Turkey Biologist Nick Oakley gives some fun facts about this gamebird you can bring to your dinner table. E34 Transcript
  • Episode 35: Audubon Christmas Bird Count: Celebrate our birds this holiday season through the Christmas Bird Count. US Fish and Wildlife Migratory Bird Biologist Sarah Kendrick tells us the history of the bird census, how to join, and how the data helps declining bird populations. Learn more about the Christmas Bird Count at Audubon.org E35 Transcript
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  • Episode 36: Let's Go on a Winter Hike: There’s still much to explore in the outdoors during winter. Bundle up, stuff your pocket with Kleenex, and head out on a trail with Jill following a snowfall! Look for wildlife tracks, get in some steps, and enjoy nature in a winter wonderland. E36 Transcript
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