From the Nominator
“Introduced” is a podcast about the human decisions and invasive species that are changing Wisconsin’s waters. The ever-expanding series explores stories about aquatic invasive species, an area of focus for our university-based research and outreach program, the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Introduced” is an ambitious new way to advance our brand by bringing listeners relevant, science-based, academically grounded information that serves the needs of Great Lakes communities.
In “Bringing Home the Beetles,” the hosts strive to understand the science behind introducing a non-native insect to control another non-native plant. They spoke to the researchers who head the state’s biocontrol program and learned what a tiny beetle can do to curb a rampant fuchsia flower species. Next, the hosts were curious about how easy it would be to buy invasive species on the internet. They reported on their foray into the aquarium hobby and the plant trade in “Invasives Online.” Finally, in “Crayfish Crisis,” the hosts returned to the site of an infamous red swamp crayfish introduction and tried to solve the mystery of who released the invasive species into a backyard pond. They talked to community members and researchers who were on the scene when the investigation unfolded, and reflected on the lessons learned from the crayfish scare.
Through conversational, engaging storytelling, “Introduced” unveils the consequences of introducing aquatic invasive species. It also inspires listeners to be better freshwater stewards, which is the core goal of Wisconsin Sea Grant’s outreach.
From the Judges
We loved that the hosts reported their stories by finding interesting leads and then going out into the field to investigate and interview the people involved—something that's rare in university podcasting. The back-and-forth between the hosts is comfortable and welcoming, and there's good use of music throughout.