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Points North
Fridays on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, or wherever you hear podcasts

Points North is an award-winning podcast about the land, water, and inhabitants of the Great Lakes.

Through narrative, sound-rich journalism that is deeply rooted in a sense of place, each episode entertains, informs, and surprises listeners everywhere.

Latest Episodes
  • Matt Parker was just out of college. Unsure of what was next, he got this idea to ride a horse across the country. This is a true American adventure story about one young Michigander’s solo ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Freshwater jellyfish have been in inland lakes and rivers throughout the Great Lakes region since 1933. But a century after their discovery, we still don’t know much about the elusive creatures. A team of student scientists is trying to change that.
  • Invasive species often spread by hitching a ride on anglers, especially anglers who don’t clean their gear after fishing. Though this is widely known, research suggests many anglers still don’t clean, even though it protects the very thing they’re after – fish. So, can anything be done to change their minds?
  • This week we’re featuring an episode from the Outside Podcast from Outside Magazine. It's a story about Greg and Julie Welch's near-death encounter with the 2011 Pagami Creek Wildfire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.
  • Rock hunting holds a special place in Joyce Fetrow’s heart. Years ago, she battled alcoholism that drove her to some dark places. Now, Joyce dedicates her life to helping others find recovery, and says rocks remind her of that journey and inspire her to keep on track with her sobriety.
  • Kurt Steiner holds the world record for stone skipping. He throws rocks because it makes him happy. And because he says it’s key to escaping digital self-saturation.
  • The idea that wilderness is untouched by man is written into law, but it’s not so accurate. Humans have used fire to shape many places we call “wilderness.” A look at how tree rings affirm a long history of indigenous land management.
  • Alison Vilag pays attention for a living. She counts migrating ducks at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, near Paradise, Michigan. It's key to getting a pulse on different bird populations. But for Alison, counting ducks is more than just science – it's an escape from the expectations of others.
  • States in the Great Lakes kill beavers and remove dams on select rivers and streams. They’re doing it, in part, for anglers and the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. But some people are not on board with that. Today’s episode is all about that conflict, and about how our scientific understanding of the role of beavers may be changing.
  • Two anglers keep winning fishing tournament after tournament, where the prizes range from expensive boats, to thousands of dollars of cash. But one day, it all comes crashing down when they’re caught cheating at a championship event on Lake Erie.