It’s a new year and we’re kicking off a new season of the Engineering With Nature® Podcast! Season 7 launches on January 24. Host Sarah Thorne recently caught up with Jeff King, National Lead of the Engineering With Nature Program, to discuss highlights from Season 6 and give us a glimpse of what’s ahead.
The EWN Podcast launched in July 2020, and as Jeff notes, “One of the biggest highlights has certainly been the number of listeners that are coming to our space. For those out there, thank you so much for listening. We kicked off Season 6 at about 34,000 downloads—today we are at around 47,000 downloads, and that number is growing. In Season 7, we should go well over 50,000 downloads—amazing!” He adds, “We really appreciate the interest and the support of our listeners from around the world. Everywhere I go—meetings, conferences, workshops—people are listening to our podcast, and they are truly engaged. They love what we’re doing. It’s incredibly exciting to get that kind of feedback.”
Sarah agrees and notes that listeners are encouraged to provide feedback through new channels we’re setting up. Details will be in the show notes of Season 7 episodes.
Sarah and Jeff review highlights from Season 6—the theme was Expanding the EWN Lattice. The wide array of topics covered included the historic wildfire season in Canada that dramatically affected air quality across Canada and in many US states; the application of nature-based solutions (NBS) in the Boston area to address sea-level rise, reduce flooding, and build coastal resilience; new guidelines for the application of thin-layer placement of dredged materials; the importance of dunes in the coastal environment; preservation of historic, culturally significant St. Croix Island by using NBS; and the science behind the importance of nature to health and well-being.
Season 6 featured a broad range of researchers, practitioners, and leaders—scientists, engineers, landscape architects, authors, and others—within the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) other US federal agencies, industry, nongovernmental organizations, First Nations, and others. All focused on innovative approaches to incorporating nature-based solutions into their work and encouraging others to do so.
Sarah notes the synergy that continues to build among EWN practitioners, “All of these people are bringing their passion. And it’s all coming together. It’s all interconnected, and they’re all learning from each other. I hope the work of all the people we’ve had on our podcast inspires the next generation to really dig in and learn these new techniques and advance the practices of EWN and NBS.”
The theme for Season 7 is Continuing the EWN Journey. As Jeff explains, “We’ve done tremendous work creating this podcast and sharing information on many different themes. With the number of downloads, the amount of interest and enthusiasm in this space, the diversity of individuals and guests that we’ve had—we’re in a pretty good place. So, we want to continue on this journey—keep sharing more of the wonderful topics that come our way and the interesting people we are blessed to get to know on this journey. ‘Continuing the EWN Journey’ conveys that. We will have conversations with wonderful guests that offer really deep insight and deep connections with nature. We’ll talk about a wide range of issues and challenges that we face, lessons we’re learning, and what brings us all together. We want to focus on what connects us all, and what will resonate with our listeners as we take this journey together.”
Listeners can expect another impressive lineup of shows in Season 7, including episodes on innovative technologies; government policy related to nature-based solutions; discussions with international practitioners; conversations with leaders from not-for-profit organizations, agency partners, and Engineering With Nature USACE District Proving Grounds; along with coverage of important EWN events. As Sarah says, “So many people are really making a significant contribution to advancing NBS and EWN. We want to share their stories and their passion.”
Mark your calendar for the launch of Season 7 on January 24! In Season 7, Episode 1, we’re speaking with Ricardo Aguirre, a rancher, practicing engineer, and educator who’s doing groundbreaking work applying EWN-type approaches to land management. He talks about how traditional practices have negatively impacted landscape and soils, particularly with respect to climate change. He is thinking about things differently in terms of holistic water harvesting and land management practices that can be more effective. We hope you’ll tune in.