Nell Larson

Producer/ Co-Host

Co-host of KPCW's This Green Earth.

Nell Larson has been the director of Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter since 2013, but has been a co-host of This Green Earth since 2009.  Prior to her role as director at Swaner, Nell acted as Conservation Director, where she focused on the restoration and management of the 1,200 acre nature preserve, implementing projects geared toward stream restoration, water quality, wildlife habitat, and trails.  Nell grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York.  She completed her undergraduate degree at Yale, as well as her master of Environmental Management with a focus in ecology at the Yale School of Forestry.  Outside of work, Nell loves to ski - both Nordic and alpine - sail, hike, travel, kickball, and generally take advantage of Utah's great outdoors.

Ways to Connect

Park City became the first community in Utah to establish an ordnance against excessive vehicle idling.  Chris and Nell speak with Celia Peterson with Park City Municipals Sustainability department about the ordinance and an online complaint form you can fill out if you observe cars or trucks idling their engines when they should not be.

Some 25 different measures impacting energy and environmental measures and policies were voted on around the country.  Everything from renewable energy to fracking for oil and gas to habitat protection was on the ballot. Chris and Nell have a rundown of all these measures and initiatives in the first part of the show.

Chris and Nell  speak with Dr. Jeff Masters, meteorologist and co-founder of the weather  and climate website,, about recent research suggesting that summertime jet streams patterns are becoming more stationary or "stuck" in place.  Why is this happening and what does this condition mean to our summers out here in the mountain west?   Find out this morning on This Green Earth.   


Today on This Green Earth, hosts Nell Larson and Chris Cherniak  speak with Darren McAvoy of Utah State University about biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from biomass that has a number of uses including improving soil health and sequestering carbon.   

Nell and Chris speak with Brian Maxfield about the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource plans to introduce more than a dozen black-footed ferrets in the northeastern part of the Utah next week.  Only a few decades ago, biologists thought black-footed ferrets were extinct.  Now, thanks to successful breeding and release programs, there are ferret colonies throughout the west. 

Sabrina Helm, an associate professor of family and consumer science at the University of Arizona surveyed hundreds of people and found that psychological responses to climate change seem to vary based on what type of concern people show for the environment. With those highly concerned about the planet’s oceans, insects, birds, animals and ecosystems experiencing the most stress.  The paper is titled: Differentiating environmental concern in the context of psychological adaptation to climate change.


Chris and Nell speak with Ashley Solstiak , Executive Director of the Utah Sierra Club about a proposed bill moving through congress that , among other things, would lessen the size of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument by nearly 50-percent.

Millions of birds use the Great Salt Lake as either a permanent home or rest stop in their annual migrations.  Jaimi Butler of the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College joins Nell and Chris to talk about how a changing Great Salt Lake is impacting the health and welfare of one bird in particular, the iconic American white pelican, and how citizen scientists can help with the research to learn more about them.

Phil Bondurant with the Summit County Health Department joins Chris and Nell to discuss a joint grant with the UPHE which would help homeowners cover the cost of replacing wood burning fireplaces with gas fired units.

Hurricanes Florence and Michael are recent examples of how a warmer planet is already influencing tropical storm intensification, magnitude and impacts.   And the Union of Concerned Scientists just released a report detailing how rising sea levels and stronger storms will increase flood risks to coastal communities - on a property by property basis. Kristina Dahl is a senior climate scientist for the Climate and Energy  program.