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

During the second half of the show, Nell and Chris turn their attention to the Citizens Climate Lobby, speaking with Lauren Barros, who is currently representing the Wasatch Back Chapter of the organization while meeting with lawmakers in Washington DC.  They are educating western representatives and senators on  HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, a national, revenue-neutral carbon fee that would also pay out monthly dividend payments to all Americans.

Last week on This Green Earth, a scientist from the research group Climate Central talked about a recent study showing that rising seas will impact more coastal land than initially thought.  This week, cohosts Chris Cherniak and Nell Larson turn their attention to the resiliency which those vulnerable communities will have to develop in order to address not just rising seas but, in our case, a warmer, dryer mountain west.  They speak with Alice Hill, the author of the book Building a Resilient Tomorrow - How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption.   

Sea level rise is a reality being modeled by scientists and faced head on in many cities and communities now struggling to defend themselves against these changes - and adapt to them.  New research published last week in the journal Nature Communications shows that rising seas could affect three times as many people by 2050 than previously thought, threatening to erase some of the world's great coastal cities.  Benjamin Strauss, the Chief Executive for the research group Climate Central, joined Chris and Nell in the first part of the show to discuss his research.

Keeping with the dark sky theme, Utah Master Naturalist Program Director Mark Larese-Casanova joined Chris and Nell to announce the launch of the new Master Astronomer Program, Dark Sky Observations, which covers everything from dark sky ecology to constellation identification.  It's designed for novices, and includes a short online course as well as a three day field course coming soon!

Over recent decades, light pollution has exploded, impacting wildlife, people, and our view of the night sky.  Over the past few years, however, Utah has become an international leader in dark sky protection, led by the Utah State Parks.  From International Dark Sky Park designations to new programs, there's lots happening and opportunity to get involved.  Justina Parsons-Bernstein, Education Specialist with State Parks, joined Chris and Nell to fill them in.

Carl Moore of PANDOS, a Utah-based native and environmental rights organization, joined Chris and Nell to talk about their work and the film Common Ground: The Story of Bears Ears. The film aims to humanize this very polarizing issue through interviews with people of all perspectives, and will be showing locally at the Santy Auditorium October 22nd at 6pm.  

In 2019, global sea ice reached the second lowest extent of the 41 years on record.  Walt Meier with the National Snow and Ice Data Center joined Chris and Nell to talk about this as well as the other work of the NSIDC and the outlook for a north pole without ice within this generation!

Chris and Nell spoke with Ryan Anderson from Summit Community Power Works who stopped in for a quick update on the County's Bulk Solar Installation Program for Summit and Wasatch County residents.  This year's first bulk solar install took place October 15th,2019, helping the organization close in on their 1000th over 6 years. And then Chris and Nell wrap up with some fun facts and enviormental issues facing us this week.

Chris and Nell spoke with Robert Bilott, the lawyer who spent twenty years building a case against DuPont for its use of the hazardous unregulated chemical PFOA, uncovering a history of environmental contamination that affects virtually every person on the planet, and the cover-up that kept it a secret for decades.  Bilott recently released the book Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty Year Battle Against DuPont, and this will be followed by the major motion picture Dark

Then, during the second half of the show, Nell and Katy spoke with Jordan Rutter of the American Bird Conservancy about their study, just published in the journal Science. The data shows that since 1970, the US and Canada have lost nearly 3 billion birds - one in every four birds - including everything from backyard songbirds to long-distance migrants, indicating an ecological crisis.  Jordan fills them in on the primary drivers of this decline, and the very simple actions that can make a real difference.

Utah Climate Week is September 29 - October 5, and there are a broad range of events and opportunities throughout the state - and beyond.  Nell and guest cohost Katy Wang spoke with Jeff Bousson of Utah Clean Energy about some of these, covering topics from how climate impacts your health to sustainability in the hospitality industry.    

During the second half of the show, Nell and Chris covered the new geology park in Park City.  Bill Loughlin of Loughlin Water Associates and Bill Biek of the Utah Geological Survey joined in to tell the fascinating story of the area's geologic history.  Petrified trees, giant landslides, volcanoes, glaciers, and even saber-toothed cats and giant sloths are part of the story. 

During the first half of the show, Kenner Kingston, architect and President of Architectural Nexus, joined Chris and Nell. Kenner believes that architecture is about reestablishing  the harmonious relationship between people and the natural environment, and has become an advocate for the Living Building Challenge.  The LBC is the world's most rigorous performance standard for buildings, making them not only sustainable, but regenerative.  Kenner shared an update on the newest Living Buildings being built in Utah.

To wrap up Tuesday's show, Daniel Salmon from the ReUse People of America joined in to explain the benefits of home deconstruction versus demolition - economically and environmentally.  They offer free assessments for anyone interested in exploring this option for their site. 

During the first segment of the show, Chris and Nell spoke with local avian enthusiast Nate Brown about how and where to bird in Summit County, how to find local resources, and connect with other birders, and what you might find at this time of year.