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Local Climate Change Podcast Gets National Audience

JD Allen and Sabrina Garone

JD Allen, WSHU managing editor and SBU journalism instructor, produced the special one-hour program for American Public Media with Sabrina Garone, a station producer. The program is now available to stream online, and aired on local stations in mid-March.

A podcast about climate change on Long Island, produced with help from Stony Brook students, is gaining a national audience.

JD Allen and Sabrina Garone
JD Allen and Sabrina Garone record the special Higher Ground program.

The new program and the original podcast, “Higher Ground,” track different community responses to climate change on Long Island. Episodes discuss efforts to preserve threatened parts of Long Island history, to relocate businesses, to protect nature and agriculture, and to keep the lights on during increasingly severe weather, among others. The new program discusses resourceful approaches to climate adaptation with regional change-makers.

“We are thrilled by the response to ‘Higher Ground,’ said Terry Sheridan, WSHU news director and SBU journalism instructor. “WHSU’s mission is to deliver in-depth coverage of the issues that are important in our community, and to explore them in a solutions-focused way. Ten years after Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc in our region, we’re presenting the stories and solutions our neighbors have identified to help us deal with climate change.”

The new “Higher Ground” program has been distributed nationwide, reaching audiences across New England, New York, Florida, and parts of the Midwest and West Coast.

The original eight-episode podcast was created with help from SBU students and featured researchers from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Kelly Hills-Muckey, who has since earned a PhD in genetics and an advanced graduate certificate in communicating science, and journalism major Sara Ruberg worked as associate producers of the podcast, helping with research and fact checking. Joshua Joseph, another journalism student, produced the graphics. 

The podcast was produced with support from The Kavli Foundation and SBU’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science.

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