Threshold

Threshold is a public radio show and podcast that tackles one pressing environmental issue each season. We report the story where it's happening through a range of voices and perspectives. Our goal is to be a home for nuanced journalism about human relationships with the natural world.

Threshold season two takes listeners to the Arctic. The region’s warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet —and where most coverage of the area begins with ice sheets and polar bears, we’re starting with people. So we’re taking you on a circumpolar journey. We’re talking with scientists, whalers, linguists, reindeer herders, even Inuit rock stars — and we’re asking: what is the Arctic, what’s changing there, and why does that matter for all of us?

Subscribe to the podcast here or find Threshold on iTunes.

Ways to Connect

Threshold S2E13: Try Harder

Dec 30, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

18 months of reporting. All eight Arctic countries. So many fascinating people. On the final episode of season two of Threshold, we pull back a little and try to see the big picture. Join us as we bust some myths, travel back in time in a Swedish forest, and search for roadmaps into the future.

Threshold S2E12: Here Be Dragons

Dec 23, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

The Greenland ice sheet is basically a giant ice cube the size of Alaska. What happens when it melts? We spent five days camping out on the ice with a team of scientists who are trying to find out.

Threshold S2E11: Life Is Too Hard Without Music

Dec 23, 2018
Nick Mott/Threshold

All across the Arctic, indigenous languages are on the decline. But in many communities, people are finding new ways to reclaim both language and culture. Join some Inuit rockers in northern Canada in the recording studio, singing in their own language and making their first new studio album in more than 30 years.

Threshold S2E10: Nickel For Your Thoughts

Dec 17, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

Half of the Arctic is in Russia, and half of Russia is in the Arctic. Oil, minerals, pollution -- it's a web of complicated environmental stories that need to be told. But in Russia, investigative journalists have become an endangered species. Spend some time around a nickel smelter and meet a veteran journalist fighting to do his job.

Threshold S2E9: Who Asked You?

Dec 17, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

Russia has more land in the Arctic than any other nation. It's also a regime that does not tolerate dissent. What does this mean for residents of Murmansk, the Arctic's largest city?

Threshold S2E8: Oil And Water

Dec 11, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

What happens when the thing you can't live without in the short term threatens your very existence in the long run? Meet two whalers in Utqiagvik, Alaska trying to answer that question.

Threshold S2E7: Hello Central

Dec 11, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

If there's one thing everybody's heard about the Arctic, it's that sea ice is melting, and that's bad news. But what's less well-known is that some people see opportunity in sea ice loss. This time, take a seat in the captain's chair of a Finnish icebreaker, sing along with a very musical Alaskan mayor, and find out what it means when the world gets a whole new ocean.

Threshold S2E6: The Things I Can See On The Mountains

Dec 3, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

After thousands of years of tradition, a shifting climate is forcing changes in the way Sámi families herd reindeer. But some climate solutions are also threatening their way of life. This is the story of the Aleksandersens, a Sámi reindeer herding family in northern Norway.

Threshold S2E5: Just Decide

Dec 3, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

Everyone's heard of Vikings - their daring North Atlantic voyages, their mysterious runes. But there's another ancient culture in Arctic Scandinavia that's much older, and just as fascinating - the Sámi. While the Vikings have been celebrated, Sámi music, language and traditions were forced underground. Why?

Threshold S2E4: Becoming Arctic, Becoming Human

Nov 26, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

An eight-ton concrete ball and a 32,000-year-old needle collection. What's all this got to do with the Arctic? Find out on this episode of Threshold.

Threshold S2E3: Impermafrost

Nov 26, 2018
Amy Martin/Threshold

All across the Arctic, frozen soil is thawing out. A lot of stuff is buried there — plants and animals that lived more than 10,000 years ago. What happens when a Paleolithic bison bone starts to decompose for the first time? And what does that have to do with climate change?

Threshold S2E2: Invisible Hands

Nov 19, 2018
Nick Mott/Threshold

When a major storm hit Shishmaref, Alaska in 2005, the town became a poster child for climate change in the Arctic. Dramatic pictures of houses falling into the sea showed up in news outlets around the world. But the story here starts way before that storm.

Threshold S2E1: The Water Is Wide

Nov 19, 2018
Nick Mott/Threshold

In Shishmaref, Alaska, no one's asking if climate change is real. What they want to know is how bad it has to get before the world decides to act.

Threshold S1E7: Oh Give Me A Home

Apr 2, 2017
AMY MARTIN

In the final episode of Threshold season 01, listeners will encounter pearls of wisdom from youth who have grown up with bison in their midst, and take a trip to the Oakland Zoo, which will soon receive buffalo from the Blackfeet tribe that will help jumpstart a conservation herd there. We also conjure the big ideas driving this first season - what's our future with this animal? How does that connect with our history? Can America ever have wild, free-roaming bison again?

Special Threshold Wyoming Episode: The Human-Bison Connection

Apr 2, 2017
AMY MARTIN - AURICLE PRODUCTIONS

On this special episode produced just for Wyoming Public Radio listeners, we travel back in time 150,000 years to trace the human-bison connection. We'll also hear bison stories from listeners. 

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Threshold S1E6: Territory Folks Should All Be Pals

Mar 26, 2017
Amy Martin

  

Visit the American Prairie Reserve, a conservation project in the heart of Montana that could eventually be home to 10,000 bison. The vision is to stitch together 3.5 million acres of public and private lands to form the largest wildlife park in the lower 48. But some nearby ranchers feel the push to build the APR is pushing them off their land, and they're mounting a resistance. We also try to solve the Great Elk Mystery: why are elk that have been exposed to brucellosis allowed to roam free in Montana, while bison are not?

Threshold S1E5: Heirs To The Most Glorious Heritage

Mar 26, 2017
Amy Martin

  

In 1908, the National Bison Range was created by carving 18,000 acres out of Montana's Flathead Reservation. Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is willing to transfer the land back to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. But, a lawsuit has been filed to stop the proposed transfer. In this episode, we meet tribal members who feel they are the rightful stewards of the land and the historic bison herd, and others who are trying to stop the transfer.

Threshold S1E4: Tatanka Oyate

Mar 12, 2017

In episode four of Threshold, we meet Robbie Magnan of the Fort Peck Tribes. He believes his community can prosper in the future by reconnecting with their roots as the Tatanka Oyate — the buffalo people. Magnan has built a quarantine facility that could be an alternative to the Yellowstone bison slaughter, but right now it sits empty while more than a thousand bison are being culled from the herd. Why? We'll learn more about Magnan's vision for bison restoration, and investigate why some people are opposed to it.

Threshold S1E3: Born Free

Mar 12, 2017
Amy Martin

Many cattle ranchers view wild bison as a threat to their livelihoods. But some think cattle and bison can coexist. On episode three of Threshold, you'll meet two cattle ranchers with different perspectives on wild bison — and, we'll take you on a controversial bison hunt.

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Threshold S1E1: For The Benefit And Enjoyment Of The People

Mar 5, 2017
AMY MARTIN

Yellowstone National Park is where we saved the American bison from extinction. But each year, we slaughter hundreds of animals from this prized herd. Why? Find out now on the first episode of Threshold.

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today. 

Threshold S1E2: 'The Red Man Was Pressed'

Mar 5, 2017

How did we go from more than 50 million wild bison to just 23 free-roaming animals? And how does the decimation of the herds relate to the oppression of Native Americans? Find out on this episode of Threshold.

'Threshold' Season 1 Preview: The Story Of Bison And People

Mar 2, 2017

Each season, Threshold podcast explores one story from the natural world, and what it says about us. Season one focuses on the American bison. Dig into the history of the American bison, from their arrival in North America, to current controversies surrounding their management today.