Introducing “Introduced,” Sea Grant’s newest podcast

Once niche, podcasts have gone mainstream. According to figures cited in Forbes, 62 million Americans now listen to podcasts each week.

Sea Grant’s Yael Gen designed the cover art for the new podcast.

While Wisconsin Sea Grant and the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute have been involved in podcasting for years—from the current series Wisconsin Water News to older programs like Earthwatch Radio—there’s a new kid on the block: a podcast called “Introduced” that will be devoted to aquatic invasive species (AIS). Its tagline is “aquatic invaders and stories from our changing waters.”

“Introduced” is the brainchild of Sea Grant Video Producer Bonnie Willison and student employee Sydney Widell, a UW-Madison geography and geosciences major from Shorewood, Wis.

The series will span seven episodes, with one per week released beginning May 27. Listeners can find it on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and on Sea Grant’s website.

While the simple name for the series conveys a bit of mystery, it also makes perfect sense. Said Willison, “As Sydney and I started learning more about invasive species, we noticed that there is a tendency for people to villainize these species. But we also noticed that humans are the ones introducing all these species to new environments. The title for our series puts the agency on people, which is something that we focus on in the podcast.”

Sydney Widell, one of the creators of the new podcast, on a visit to an electric fish barrier in Illinois in February. The barrier helps keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. (Photo: Bonnie Willison)

Guests interviewed in the series include representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, UW-Madison, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and a rescue organization focusing on exotic animals. Several Sea Grant staff also make appearances.

Topics are wide-ranging, from Asian carp to the trade in invasive species on the Internet. Because the AIS field is so rich, Willison anticipates doing a second season of the “Introduced” podcast. Stay tuned!