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This week on Encounters

Paddle on a remote lake in far northern Alaska with host Richard Nelson as he follows a pair of common loons.

These birds are anything but common—spectacular plumage, deep red eyes and a call so beautiful, Koyukon Indian elders say it is the sound against which all others are measured.

Listen to the haunting calls of the loon. Warning: may cause chills!

Listen to the Loon Program.

Listen to all the Encounters Radio shows. You can subscribe to podcasts too.


Where else on public radio... 

Where else on public radio can you hear polar bears growl, peregrine falcons cry and killer whales splash? In an ever increasingly urban world, Encounters: Experiences in the North brings the sounds of the northern wild to the radio for a rare, entertaining and informative weekly program. Now in its tenth season, Encounters is heard throughout Alaska and around the nation—and has podcast listeners around the world. Alaska’s acclaimed cultural anthropologist and award winning nature writer, Richard Nelson is the host of Encounters. Each 29- minute segment contains a tight weave of scientific and indigenous perspectives as Nelson bubbles over with boundless enthusiasm for all things wild. Because it is recorded live to tape, Encounters has a refreshing immediacy that makes for exciting and entertaining listening.

The carefully researched material draws information from the best scientific investigations, from discussions with scientists about their work, from accurate interpretation of conclusions in a wide range of studies, and from direct experience in the field. The programs are recorded live in the field during close contact with the subject. Whether high atop a 65 foot tree to record a program on wind, kayaking along side a pod of sea lions or getting curiously close to a grizzly bear, Nelson engages the listener in feeling the place as well as the subject.

Dr. Nelson has spent forty years in the north living with indigenous people and writing extensively about human relationships to the natural world. He began Encounters as a volunteer for KCAW-FM, the voice and heartbeat of Sitka, a small island town on Alaska's north Pacific coast. Encouraged by its popularity among Sitkans, Nelson began to work with KCAW program director Ken Fate who edited the program and found distribution statewide. Today the show is still distributed by KCAW, Raven Radio.

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Teachers and Students
For in-depth materials for Encounter's topics, including lesson plans, check out Encounters Wild Explorer

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