This Green Earth

Tuesday, 9-10 AM

Hosts Chris Cherniak and Nell Larson
Credit Mark Maziarz

This Green Earth is a weekly, hour-long program that focuses on the environment and environmentalism. Co-hosts Christopher Cherniak and Nell Larson explore the science, politics, economics and ethics behind the environment, natural resources, and sustainability.

The program includes interviews with local and national experts in the fields of water resources, air quality, environmental policy, fossil and renewable fuels, climate, conservation, ecosystems, agriculture, aquaculture, and sustainability.

TGE has interviewed a number of individuals from different environmental fields including: writers Andrew Revkin, Terry Tempest Williams, Craig Childs, Richard Louv and Paul Erlich; politicians like the Mayors of Park City and Salt Lake City; policy analysts from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund; scientists and researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to the National Weather Service; and, local sustainable business owners from Copper Moose Farm, Main Street Olive Oil Company, Whole Foods Market, and Fairweather Natural Foods.

Christopher Cherniak is an environmental engineer with nearly 30 years experience as an environmental consultant. Nell Larson is an environmental scientist, educator, and a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry. Together, they direct This Green Earth's mission: to educate listeners about the importance of environmental preservation, conservation, and stewardship.

Contact Chris and Nell via email at

What People are Saying About This Green Earth

"This Green Earth offers an in-depth analysis of current environmental issues that affect our local and global community.  The conversations between the hosts and their guests is enlightening and challenging, but at the same time has a light touch that makes the issues accessible to a wide listening audience.  An invaluable resource for our community." Katy Wang, Executive Director of Park City Film

"This Green Earth does an excellent job recruiting knowledgeable and interesting guests.  As someone who's been involved in the "green" sector for many years, I'm consistently impressed with the ability of Katie and Nell to introduce me to something new!"  Tyler Paulsen, former Sustainability Office, Park City Municipal

This Green Earth is Sponsored by:

Special SCPW Quarterly Reports Provided by:


Ways to Connect

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.

Summit and Wasatch Counties currently have a bulk solar program available through Summit Community Power Works, open to all homeowners in the two Counties.  The program provides a trusted contractor, a significant discount from market rates, and additional guidance for all participants. Ryan Anderson from SCPW and Tom Mills from Creative Energies joined Chris and Nell to lay out how to participate. 

This Green Earth welcomes Paige Singer, a conservation biologist and GIS specialist at Rocky Mountain Wild, a Colorado non-profit focusing on wildlife preservation and biodiversity studies in the Southern Rockies of Colorado. 

Carolyn Wawra and Troy Holding from Recycle Utah join This Green Earth  to discuss the Center's sale of construction materials. ReUse People of America partners with Recycle Utah and delivers these materials. All materials have nails removed and are taken from deconstructed homes of up to 15,000 square feet and include anything from beams, TGI joists, 2x4's, 2x6's, kitchen cabinets and granite countertops.  

Jon Gertner, author of New York Times Bestseller The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey Into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future, joined Chris and Nell to talk about Greenland's wild past and early adventurers, its importance to climate science, and the impacts of climate change on this remote landscape. 

In 2018, the state of Utah initiated a Harmful Algal Bloom (HOB) monitoring program to monitor toxic blooms of cyanobacteria in the state's lakes and reservoirs.  Kelsee York and Sarah Beth Ross, the water quality technicians that run this program, joined Chris and Nell to explain what, exactly, HABs are, why they happen, how they are tracked, and best practices to stay safe.

In the second half of the show, we are speaking with Janice Gardner, Conservation Ecologist with Wild Utah Project, a Utah non-profit that focuses on Science in Service of Wildlife and Wildlands. She shares a few of their latest projects – including everything from pollinators to stream restoration - and also how you can get involved and help with field work!

In the first half of the show today, we speak with an author who is being compared to Edward Abbey for his “angry, eloquent, and urgent” writing.  Christopher Ketcham, author of This Land: How Cowboys, Capitalism, and Corruption are ruining the American West joins us in the first part of the show.

During the second half of the show, Chris and Nell were joined by local father - son business team Peter and Matt Murray of Stardust Sustainables.  This Park City based company produces reusable bags that are also easily compostable, eliminating any waste at the end of their life.  

PurpleAir is a Salt Lake based company that manufactures affordable air quality monitoring devices that report data in real time.  Better yet, the data they gather is shared online through a map, enabling anyone with internet access to check on air quality in their area, and to make informed decisions about their activity.  Founder Adrian Dybwad joined Chris and Nell on the show to talk about his company.


During the second half of the show, Nell and Chris learned about the Burn Smart Program in Summit County from Summit County's environmental health director Phil Bondurant.  Residents can receive financial support in order to swap out a wood-burning stove for a cleaner and healthier source of heat.  Phil also discussed the County's air quality monitoring efforts with Purple Air and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.