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

Points North is a biweekly podcast about the evolving land, water and inhabitants of the Upper Great Lakes. It’s about where we are and how we move forward.

Latest Episodes
  • About 20 feet down on the bottom of Lake Michigan, there’s a white marble crucifix from Italy. Diver Denny Jessick uses a trail of rumors to search for its origin story.
  • Laura Neese says she was practically raised in a dog kennel. What began as a homeschool project, is now a lifelong obsession, as she competes in some of the biggest dog sledding races in North America.
  • Harmful algal blooms are a growing concern in the Great Lakes. The toxins they produce can close beaches and even poison drinking water. What’s fueling these blooms? Phosphorus – a key ingredient in agricultural fertilizers. But the way it’s being used comes at a cost.
  • Kenny Pheasant first became a teacher of Anishinaabemowin at 14 – from behind the meat counter at a grocery store. Now, it's his life mission to get more people speaking the Great Lakes’ original and endangered language.
  • Cougars are making a comeback. The iconic wildcat hasn’t had a breeding population in the Great Lakes states since the early 1900s, but now they’re moving east. Experts say they could be back soon. Some people swear they already are.
  • America’s bird, the bald eagle, is facing a tremendous challenge. As scavengers, they feed on what we and other animals leave behind. But lead continues to find its way into the environment, and causes problems in more ways than you’d think.
  • Because of its abundant open space, Detroit, Michigan has a thriving ring-necked pheasant population. The birds have endeared themselves to many by representing a connection to the city and the natural world. But some worry what coming development might mean for pheasants and their future in the Motor City.
  • In February, gray wolves went back on the endangered species list. But it wasn't because the population suddenly plummeted. It had more to do with an ongoing fight between stakeholders who have strong, opposing feelings about protecting wolves. This episode was originally produced in February 2022, as part of a seven part series, titled [Un]Natural Selection.
  • The North Country Trail runs through the heart of the Great Lakes region and covers 4,800 miles. Less than 20 people have ever hiked the entire NCT, but that’s not stopping a man from Minnesota from trying.
  • 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.