Defender Radio and The Switch

We’ve all been angry at a situation and let it out on social media. It makes sense: that’s a place our friends and community can gather from afar and acknowledge our feelings and join in the process of venting. The trouble these days, however, seems to be when that’s all we do when we have legitimate concerns about policies or the actions of others, particularly those in a position of authority.

When it comes to complaining, there’s not necessarily a right way, but there certainly are effective ways, especially when we want to see change as a result of our concerns. Whether it’s someone trespassing on property, a community member feeding wildlife inappropriately or a complaint about how a public official conducted themselves, it’s important to understand that without proper communication, little may change.

That’s why I connected with Bryce Casavant, the former Conservation Officer who faced disciplinary action for refusing to kill two innocent bear cubs. With his mixed background of military and law enforcement, as well as his PhD studies at Royal Rhodes and new role with Pacific Wild, Bryce was the ideal candidate for this interview. We discussed government complaints processes, how and when the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act can be utilized, and the reality that many people in our communities may face very real fears or wade through the tides of others’ privilege to exercise their rights. 

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_707_Bryce_Casavant_Complaints.mp3
Category:Season 07 -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

Tim Gordon is an Exeter University PhD student working on some fascinating solutions to help fish on coral reefs in Australia using sound. As cool as this research is, that’s not what brought Tim’s work to my attention: it was a short letter published in the journal Science. Titled, Grieving environmental scientists need support, Gordon co-wrote the letter with colleagues Andrew Radford and Stephen Simpson. It is a call for cultural change in the scientific community. Researchers are witnessing the loss of ecosystems and species, something that can cause anyone to experience grief. But traditionally, scientists are considered impartial and dispassionate observers. This dissonance can be outright harmful, and Gordon and his colleagues believe the scientific community must begin discussing and addressing these problems – or as he puts it, allowing scientists to cry.

Tim joined me all the way from the northeastern coast of Australia to share his views on the subject, his personal efforts to live with the heavy emotions he feels working on the great barrier reef as its existence hangs in the balance and, because I was curious, how he’s helping Nemo find his way home.

Read 'Grieving environmental scientists need support':

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"Helping Nemo Find Home" three-minute thesis video:

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_706_Ecological_Grief_Tim_Gordon.mp3
Category:Season 07 -- posted at: 5:22pm EDT