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In Over My Head

Author: Michael Bartz

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Michael is on a quest to get his environmental footprint as low as humanly possible. So he built his own off-grid Tiny House. But downsizing and minimizing weren’t enough. He had to take more drastic measures, altering his lifestyle in some extreme ways, all in the name of saving the planet. But when it comes to his goal, he still feels in over his head. He doesn’t know if all the downsizing, minimizing, reducing, reusing, recycling, and sacrificing make a difference. It’s time to bring in the experts.

Join Michael as he sits down with scientists, policymakers, industry leaders, and environmental experts to figure out how to effectively reduce his footprint in all aspects of life. From food and fast fashion to cars and caskets, he gets into what the worst culprits really are and how we can all make more informed choices when it comes to the impact we have on the planet.

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88 Episodes
How is the Oldman watershed unique, why it is ecologically important, and how has our climate been changing in Alberta over the decades? In this episode, Michael explores some of the basics around the Oldman watershed, water security and climate adaptation. Featured Guests:Shannon Frank - Executive Director: Oldman Watershed CouncilStefan Kienzle - Professor Emeritus: University of Lethbridge 
What is a riparian area and what role does it play in climate adaptation? How are lakes impacted by climate change? In this episode, Michael explores why riparian areas and lakes are important to the Oldman watershed.Featured Guests:Norine Ambrose - Executive Director: Cows & FishBradley Peter - Executive Director: Alberta Lake Management Society
What role does land management play in maintaining a healthy watershed? How are fish species affected by a changing climate and our various land uses? In this episode, Michael has some conversations about conservation in the Oldman watershed. Featured Guests:Philip Meintzer & Devon Earl - Conservation Specialists: Alberta Wilderness AssociationLorne Fitch - Professional BiologistJim Rennie - Angler & Citizen Scientist 
How are businesses affected by concerns around water security in the Oldman Watershed? In this episode, Michael talks with three business owners who rely on water for their livelihood. He explores why water matters to them and how they plan to adapt to a changing climate. Featured Guests:Jim Lynch-Staunton - Rancher: Antelope Butte RanchDwight Perry - FarmerKelti Baird - Co-Founder & Managing Owner: Theoretically Brewing Co.
How has the Oldman watershed been developed over the centuries and were there any struggles along the way? In this episode, Michael explores the history of development in the Oldman watershed, including its significance to the Blackfoot people and its importance to settler communities. He also learns about the controversy around the construction of the Oldman River Dam. Featured Guests:Ninna Piiksii - Blackfoot ElderTyler Stewart - Curator: Galt MuseumStewart Rood - Environmental Science Professor: University of LethbridgeCliff Wallis - Director: Alberta Wilderness Association & Past President: Friends of the Oldman RiverCheryl Bradley - Friends of the Oldman volunteer
How is the City of Lethbridge planning to adapt to water security concerns in our changing climate and what can you do to have an impact? In this episode, Michael explores the future of water and climate adaptation in Lethbridge. He gets a tour of the water treatment plant, learns about the city’s climate adaptation strategy and gets some advice from past guests on what you can do to get involved.Featured Guests:Doug Kaupp - General Manager of Water and Wastewater: City of LethbridgeRaene Barber - Sustainability Engineer: City of LethbridgeShannon Frank - Executive Director: Oldman Watershed CouncilCliff Wallis - Director: Alberta Wilderness Association & Past President: Friends of the Oldman River 
Michael learns all about the Oldman watershed, exploring how communities in Southern Alberta are impacted by concerns around water security related to climate change, and how they might adapt. 
What was the motivation behind establishing Alberta Parks? Why is researching the history of provincial parks challenging, and should we include ordinary people in park history? Michael explores these questions with environmental historian Jessica DeWitt. She explains the unique reasons for creating Alberta Parks in the 1930s and the challenges with the first provincial parks including Aspen Beach. They discuss Fish Creek Provincial Park and the urban park movement in the 1970s, unintentional environmentalism and more. 
What was prehistoric life like in Alberta 2.6 million years ago? What is the geologic significance of the provincial parks, and how can geology help us deepen our connection to the parks?Michael explores these questions with history and earth science educator, and author Cory Gross. They cover the unique geology of Castle Wildland Provincial Park, Kananaskis, Sheep River Provincial Park, Cypress Hills Provincial Park and more.Sandstone Prehistoric Safari's Website
What unique history is buried under Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park? What is it like leading your first archaeological dig? What makes Glenbow Ranch ecologically significant and why does it need to be protected?Michael explores these questions with archaeologist, historian, and author Shari Peyerl. Their conversation focuses on Shari's book, Alberta's Cornerstone Archaeological Adventures in Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park. They cover the sandstone quarry of the 1900s, its significance to provincial buildings, Shari's 2017 excavation of the bunkhouse and more.Shari Peyerl's Website
What makes Miquelon Lake Provincial Park historically unique? What benefits do visitors get from their time at a provincial park? What is the history of park interpretation programs and why are they important today?Michael explores these questions with the University of Alberta's Glen Hvenegaard. They cover the history of Miquelon as a migratory bird sanctuary in the 1920s, its significance as a UNESCO biosphere and a dark sky preserve, the start of park interpretation programs in the 1960s and more.
Historically, what is the ecological significance of Kananaskis? What development concerns have arisen in the past, and what can people do to ensure this space is managed appropriately?Michael explores these questions with Executive Director of CPAWS Southern Alberta Katie Morrison. They cover the ecological recognition of Kananaskis in the 1940s, the establishment of the Kananaskis country concept in the 1970s, CPAWS involvement in challenging development projects in the 1990s, and more.CPAWS Southern Alberta Website
What is the significance of Áísínai'pi (Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park) to the Niitsítapi people? What is the role of policy in indigenous groups maintaining their spiritual connection to Áísínai'pi? How is the indigenous cultural understanding of heritage unique?Michael explores these questions with heritage management practitioner Camina Weasel Moccasin. They cover the park's establishment in the 1950s, the shift to the Blackfoot cultural connection in the 1970s, Camina's research around Blackfoot perceptions of heritage management of Áísínai'pi and more.  
In this bonus episode, Michael chats with small business owner Heather Davis about Uplift Adventures, a Crowsnest Pass-based outdoor tourism company. Heather explains how Uplift Adventures got its start, the realities of running a small business in the parks, and the historical significance of the Crowsnest Pass. Lastly, Heather offers advice on how you can connect to nature in a meaningful way and what's next for her company.Uplift Adventures Website
Michael explores the unique and sometimes surprising history of Alberta Parks. He learns about Aspen Beach, Miquelon, Glenbow Ranch, Fish Creek, Castle Wildland, Aisinai’pi and more. You'll be inspired to protect our parks for the future by discovering their past.     
Why do we need to have conversations and new narratives about small-scale fisheries, how we govern the ocean, and progress in marine conservation efforts?In this episode, Michael speaks with:Ratana Chuenpagdee, Memorial University, CanadaEvan Andrews, Memorial University, CanadaJack Daly, Oceana, CanadaOcean Frontier InstituteToo Big to IgnoreOceana Canada
Can coastal and ocean development happen without affecting the health of the ocean and marine ecosystems, and the economic viability and wellbeing of coastal communities? In this episode, Michael speaks with:Rob Stephenson, Fisheries and Oceans & University of New Brunswick, CanadaGerald Singh, University of Victoria, CanadaBrennan Lowery, Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre, CanadaJohn Norman, Mayor of Bonavista, CanadaOcean Frontier Institute
Equity and justice are fundamental principles, but do they exist in small-scale fisheries, especially related to access to resources, management and regulations, and from the historical perspective? In this episode, Michael speaks with:Paul Foley, Memorial University, CanadaEdith Samson, Sir William Ford Coaker Heritage Foundation, CanadaLil Saul, Fisherwoman, Twillingate, CanadaRyan, a fish harvester from Petty Harbour, CanadaOcean Frontier Institute 
Fishing, fish processing and maritime work are risky occupations. What needs to be done to provide better protection, and enhance occupational health and safety for those involved? In this episode, Michael speaks with:Barb Neis, Memorial University, Canada Joel Finnis, Memorial University, Canada Desai Shan, Memorial University / Dalhousie University, CanadaOcean Frontier Institute
What is the future of small-scale fisheries, in Newfoundland and Labrador? Who’s going to fish? What will make people stay in the fisheries? What’s the vision of the communities for their own future?  In this episode, Michael speaks with:María Andrée López Gómez, Memorial University, Canada / Center for Demographic Research, SpainRachael Cadman, Dalhousie University, Canada Dawn Mercer, DFO, CanadaOcean Frontier Institute