Shepherd has produced and reported for NPR’s “Living on Earth” series, a weekly environmental news and information program.
The series was heard each week on over 250 public radio stations. Some radio pieces below.
Susan reports on Elephant Nursery: An elephant orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya has perfected the art of raising baby elephants and releasing them back into the wild.
Photos: Barry P. Payne
In Florida Beach, Susan reflects on how one particular stretch of beach in Florida took on life-and-death meaning in her life
“When I was 13, my family moved from Philadelphia to Florida. In August. It was so hot the air shimmered and the cacophony of frogs screeching in the trees nearly drove me mad. Even the plants steamed. I swore I could see vines crawl like snakes over trees and devour them whole.”
Cambodian Farmers: Susan reports on an innovative program in New England that is helping Cambodian refugees return to the farming life they left behind in their homeland.
“Ladyfingers, fish cheek herbs, gourds, taro, holy basil – this is pay dirt for a family of Cambodians that farms a small plot in Dracut, Massachusetts. On a warm day in early September a husband and wife and several children wearing straw hats squat among the green rows, in the brilliant morning sun. They’re harvesting some of the first Cambodian vegetables of the season.”
Pampered Pets: The relationship between pets and humans is changing. As more people see their pets as quasi-human, they’re spending more money on their animals, as well as searching for new ways to keep them happy.
“Out of the eight or ten dogs here tonight, at least two of them will run up medical bills of close to 8,000 dollars. The highest bill in this hospital’s history was 22,000 dollars for a very sick dog that survived for another year. It’s all part of the 11 billion dollars a year Americans spend on pet health care, up from 800 million in 1980. Part of that increase is because of animal hospitals like these.”
In Sunning Hippos, Susan reports on the all-natural sunscreen secreted by the hippopotamus.
“If we had the same sweat glands as the hippopotamus, we’d have little use for the sun blocks and anti-infection creams cluttering our medicine cabinets. Japanese researchers studying the secretions of Hippos say these hairless river horses literally sweat sunscreen.”
Got the Beat: Tod Machover is a professor, classical musician and inventor at the MIT Media Lab who is overseeing the design of a new class of electronic instruments. These beat bugs, shapers and other musical inventions are now used by children, handicapped adults and orchestras around the world. Susan reports on the new frontier of Hyper Music.
“Tod Machover’s office at MIT’s media lab is crammed with inventions that look a lot like toys, but they’re really instruments designed to teach kids about music in non-traditional ways. Some of the gadgets focus on beat and rhythm. Others teach kids how to invent new sounds and lets them compose their own music. And some offer kids the chance to create something entirely new.”