Gen Anthro 2012 Reflections: Producers’ Edition

It’s the end of 2012, and producers Mike Osborne, Leslie Chang, and Miles Traer get together to chat about the past year of Generation Anthropocene. We rehash some of our favorite interviews, off-mic moments, and Mike’s world-renowned dancing skills. Happy holidays everyone, and thank you so much for listening!

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Conserving culture through biodiversity

Conservation biologist Luis Zambrano discusses his work in wetland and ecosystem restoration in Mexico City and a rare salamander threatened by development (the Axolotl).  Seriously, if you like looking at cute things, google the Axolotl.  In fact, this rare salamander embodies a particularly powerful cultural symbol, leading to an interesting discussion of the Anthropocene as a cultural boundary.

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The pragmatic conservationist

The chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy Peter Kareiva challenges historical landscapes as the goal of conservation, discusses how to develop econometrics in the Anthropocene, and how he uses science to build an unbiased view of nature.  He also takes a brief moment to address his public image as something of a provocateur.

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Conservation in the Anthropocene

History is accelerating.  As we move farther into the Anthropocene, we must ask ourselves what we want for the planet today and what will we preserve for the next generation.  But how do we know where to place our conservation efforts in this new geologic age?

About two months ago, the Generation Anthropocene team was invited to Santa Cruz, CA for a reunion for the Leopold Leadership Program.  It’s a program that helps environmental researchers prepare to translate “knowledge to action” to lead change on the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges, and it’s full of really smart people.  In this episode, we revisit the history of conservationism and bring you excerpts from our interviews with a half dozen experts, covering everything from frogs to invasive species to shades of green to a funny-looking Mexican salamander (that apparently doesn’t taste half bad).

The debate over why to save nature goes back over a hundred years, but it has never been more relevant than it is now in the Anthropocene – where we’re calling the shots.

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