Producing Nature Talks, the podcast (Audio blog)

Voicing the podcast in my home recording studio (Photo courtesy of Tiffany Cassidy/NCC staff)

Voicing the podcast in my home recording studio (Photo courtesy of Tiffany Cassidy/NCC staff)

September 3, 2018 | by

This is the story of Tiffany Cassidy, the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC's) national media relations manager, and the lessons she learned while producing a podcast series called Nature Talks.

Listen to the audio blog and view the transcript below:


When it comes to nature, what you hear can be just as moving as what you see.


A skilled birder would know that that call is the endangered vesper sparrow.

A bird you will probably never see in real life — but now you’ve heard it.

That’s why it was so incredible to travel across Canada, to capture the sounds of nature and share them.

My name is Tiffany Cassidy, and for the past few months I’ve been producing a series called Nature Talks: The Nature Conservancy of Canada podcast. Here are a few things I learned in the process.

1. Capturing the sounds of nature takes patience.


If I’m telling you about the role of ranchers in grasslands, I want you to hear them riding their horses…but if the horses don’t neigh, they don’t neigh.

This was a general trend with trying to get animals to speak.

(SFX Tiffany: I want it to baa. Baaa. Sheep: baaa.)

But our human subjects were much more willing to share their stories about how they’re working to protect nature.

2. People are deeply connected to nature.


In one episode, we head to a river that a small village uses for its water supply. If that isn’t connected to nature, I don’t know what is.

Over the course of the seven episodes, I spoke to volunteers, ranchers, scientists, community members and even a village mayor about all of the ways people are connected to nature.

Their stories left me inspired…and I’m pretty sure they’ll inspire our listeners, too.

3. Canada’s far more diverse than we think.

I’m from Saskatchewan’s prairies.


That’s why it was so neat to walk through prairies that were so different than where I grew up.

Like Manitoba’s tall grass prairies…or the grasslands of Alberta’s eastern slopes…

It was also pretty neat to walk in Victoria’s lush, colourful Garry oak meadows…Ontario’s rocky but surprisingly vibrant alvar, or the old forests next to New Brunswick’s Riverside Albert.

Each place was so different.

Each place had so many stories for us to discover. It was tough choosing just seven!

4. Incredible research is happening so that we can better understand and protect nature.


I walked over snowbanks where endangered species were literally at my feet.

And I learned from NCC staffer Cary Hamel how measuring snow levels can help them survive.

That was just one of the science stories I got to explore.

5. Nature is incredible.

Did you know you can’t hear most bats without slowing down their sound?


This is an endangered bat.

And it was found in a completely unexpected place.

To find out where that was, and to be amazed like I was by some of the other stories nature has to tell…

Listen to the podcast at


The birds you heard in this were from the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology from recordists Wil Hershberger and Geoffrey A. Keller. You’ll hear more of those in the podcast.