News & Classical Music from Northern Michigan
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Points North is a biweekly podcast about the land, water and inhabitants of the Upper Great Lakes. It’s about where we've been, where we are and how we move forward.

Recent Episodes
  • It takes a special breed to head to a Great Lakes beach during the windiest months of the year. But storm photographers are up for the challenge.
  • Wind turbines are being built in ocean waters off the east and west coasts. But why don’t we see any in the Great Lakes? The gales of November are an example of how much potential the region has for wind energy – but public opposition is the biggest barrier.
  • Lake Superior can change in a heartbeat; one minute it’s calm ― the next it's raging into a wild storm.When people in the water get caught off-guard, rescuers have to make critical decisions, and ultimately gamble with their own lives.
  • For the past three and a half decades, zebra and quagga mussels have fundamentally altered the ecology and hijacked the food web of the Great Lakes. Now scientists are trying new ways to put the mollusks in check, including infecting them with parasites and even crushing them with huge rollers. But will it be enough?
  • According to an Anishinaabe prophecy, manoomin – wild rice – is what brought the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples to the Great Lakes.But starting in the late 1800s, manoomin’s decline was fast and widespread. And just like the plant itself, a lot of knowledge around harvesting practices has been lost. Some Anishinaabek are changing that.
  • Lake Superior’s northern shore has been home to woodland caribou for thousands of years. But now, the species is facing local extinction. Some blame climate change for the caribou's decline. But the species has persisted through an ice age, and through warming temperatures. It’s survived climate change before. So why is it in trouble now?
  • Northern Michigan is the perfect place to be outdoors with its extensive forests and pristine rivers. The irony is, it’s also the perfect place to simulate warfare. A proposed expansion is putting some residents and the Michigan National Guard head-to-head.
  • Rails are secretive marsh birds, and they’re on the decline. But a researcher playing their recorded calls over a loudspeaker could help bring them back – by tricking them.
  • Lyme disease is increasing in the Upper Midwest. The illness is caused by a bite from an infected black-legged tick. But the disease can be hard to spot. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body and cause arthritis and nervous system problems.
  • A deadly fungal infection is pushing some bat species to the brink of extinction. As scientists scramble to track the spread of white nose syndrome, they’re also testing novel ways to treat it.