Matt Fidler


Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.

Sloan Science & Film

Dave talks to one of his favorite people on the planet, Ann Druyan. As the wife of the late Carl Sagan, Ann has worked tirelessly since his passing in 1996 to foster and carry on his legacy. In 2014, Druyan teamed with Seth McFarlane to produce the sequel to Sagan's classic Cosmos: a Personal Voyage. Cosmos: a Spacetime Odyssey, received critical acclaim and 4 emmys and spurred the production for a second series Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which airs on FOX TV beginning September 22.

Vivien Sansour

Join us this week on Cultivating Place for our final episode in the Seed Change series. We are in conversation with Vivien Sansour, heart and head behind The Palestine Heirloom Seed Library aiming to revive and share forward Palestinian seed heritage and culture of care and gratitude.

Vivien was born in Palestine and grew up in Bethlehem and then North Carolina.

Sharon Mollerus

The Great California Road Trip heads west this week, to the edge of the continent.

California’s isolated, sometimes isolationist human history has been shaped by the land itself. That even early European explorers imagined the territory as an island is a fitting irony, because in many ways— geographically, yes, but also in the evolution of plants and animals—California was, and still is, an island in both space and time. With small islands within the larger one, such as the North Coast. The redwood coast.

Artist Michelle Ott grew up in Minnesota and holds a Master of Fine Arts for UC Berkely. A team member at The Bookstore in Chico, Calif., she is also the artist and resident at the Gateway Science Museum.

Ott creates Illustrations and handcut photographs that focus on the observations of our physical and social world. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally.

This week on Cultivating Place, the third in our 4 part Seed Change series with Cheryl Birker, Seed Conservation Program Manager at California Botanic Garden and with whom we go even deeper into what it means to seed bank a biodiversity hotspot in our world. It’s all about the beauty in the tiniest of details. Listen in!

Henrique Pinto / Flickr Creative Commons

Consider last week’s thumbnail sketch of Death Valley a preview of California’s deserts. As it happens, fall, winter, and spring are ideal times to explore them.

Which is the first point: California has multiple deserts. The 25 million acres typically considered desert extend east from Los Angeles and its edge cities into Nevada and Arizona, south into Mexico, and north to the eastern Sierra Nevada.

Flying Free is an exhilarating memoir about fear and the trials and tribulations that come with it. The story explores how Author Cecilia Aragon used math to overcome her fears to become a celebrated aerobatic champion. Today, she visits Nancy’s Bookshelf to share details on how she became the first Latina Pilot on the US Aerobatic Team.

About Cecilia Aragon:

Cecilia Aragon is the Seattle author of Flying Free (Blackstone Publishing, 2020), a memoir of her journey from fearful child to airshow pilot. She overcame her fears to become an aerobatic champion and then used what she learned from flying to achieve her goals in life.



Dave visits with fellow science communicator Amy Quinton. Amy and co-host Kat Kerlin are the creators of Unfold a science podcast featuring research from the University of California at Davis. 


The podcasts are thematic series on topics like food scarcity and climate change. Amy talks about her path from being a broadcast journalist to a science specialist who truly loves taking listeners along on journeys of scientific discovery.

This week on Cultivating Place, we continue our Seed Change series with Naomi Fraga, research assistant professor of Botany at Claremont Graduate University and Director of Conservation Programs at the California Botanic Garden dedicated to conserving the rich biodiversity of the native plants of California through field research, seed banking, and education programs. Listen in!

BFS Man / Flickr

We visit Death Valley this week, the lowest point in North America. Death Valley’s depths are all the more impressive when you consider that the highest point in the continental U.S., Mount Whitney, is just 100 miles away, in the southern Sierra Nevada near Lone Pine.

To stargazers, Death Valley is the closest thing to heaven in light-blinded Southern California. To rockhounds, it’s a timeless monument to very grounded geologic grandeur. To botanists and bird-watchers, it’s a study in successful adaptation. Its vast spaces sprinkled with petroglyphs, ghost towns, mine ruins, and other enduring marks of human aspiration, to hikers and history buffs it’s one endless discovery trail.