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Spotlight on Natural Resources

We cover a wide range of topics that help you become an advocate for our planet.
Spotlight on Natural Resources Podcast

Latest Episode

February 22, 2024
Early spring is a wonderful time to view wildlife in Illinois. Woodcock, one of the earliest of the migrating birds, return to the state and start displaying to attract mates and set up territories. Mole salamanders will head to breeding pools, even when ice is still on.

Phenology as a Retirement Hobby

January 30, 2024
Ever think about what will captivate you in retirement? You don’t want to just sit around but you don’t want to over-commit now that you have your own time. Phenology could be a retirement hobby. Join Peggy Doty to talk about how phenology offers an activity for your mind and just enough...

The Northern Saw-whet Owl

December 21, 2023
Hiding in the thickets of our Illinois woodland habitat, the Northern Saw-whet Owl is a small and secretive owl species that migrates through our area.  During this podcast, University of Illinois Avian Lab Manager and Field Coordinator, Mike Avara, joins us to share research the university is...

Providing Natural and Artificial Homes for Bats

November 27, 2023
Join us this week as we chat with Dr. Joy O'Keefe about bats of Illinois and what we can do to support them. Bats are essential to a healthy ecosystem, as they eat insects that are pests to trees, crops, and us. Most bats use trees as their daytime roosts during spring, summer, and fall. If...

Invasive Alert: Spotted Lanternfly

November 3, 2023
On this special edition of Spotlight on Natural Resources, hear from Scott Schirmer, State Plant Regulatory Official with Illinois Department of Agriculture, and Chris Evans, Forestry Extension and Research Specialist with University of Illinois Extension as we talk about Spotted Lanternfly....

Creepy Carp and Sea Lamprey, Aquatic invasives in Lake Michigan (the Halloween episode)

October 30, 2023
Join us this week as we chat with Aquatic Invasives Species Specialist Katie O'Reilly about all things aquatic invasives in Lake Michigan. We take a spooky look at what kinds of species are aquatic invaders and what we can do...

September is National Preparedness Month: Generator Safety, Supply Kits & CO Detectors

September 29, 2023
September is National Preparedness Month. Kerri Taylor joins us from Illinois Safe Electricity to teach us about how we can better prepare our homes, families, workplaces, and communities in the event of a natural disaster or emergency.  Focusing on...

Exploring Illinois’s Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy

August 22, 2023
With high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus entering our waterways and making their way to the Gulf of Mexico, Illinois is taking action to address nutrient loss and hold those nutrients in place. Rachel Curry and Nicole Haverback are the boots on the ground for this project in Illinois, and...

Drought and Extreme Weather Resiliency

August 16, 2023
With droughts and drastic weather occurring in Illinois, how do we keep our landscapes resilient? Extension Stormwater Specialist, Eliana Brown, joins the podcast to discuss how we can help build healthy landscapes in this extreme weather.

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Corn Sweat: A Midwest phenomenon

July 6, 2023
Corn sweat - an interesting Midwest phenomenon that happens during the summer months.  Find out what corn sweat really is and how it affects our weather, wildlife and other plants. Duane Friend, Illinois Master Naturalist Coordinator and Climate Specialist, joins us during...

Value of Biodiversity

June 7, 2023
Biodiversity - such a buzzword these days. But what is biodiversity and why does everyone seem to be talking about it? Extension Educator Abigail Garofalo will break down this scientific concept and give you insights into the biodiversity crisis and what you can do about it. 

Podcast Hosts

Duane Friend

Duane Friend

State Master Naturalist and Climate Change Specialist