Curious Planet Podcast Connects Nature, Culture and Wonder

New podcast melds history, storytelling, sense of place, belonging and curiosity

March 19, 2024, 1:09 pm | Jacqueline Comito, Ann Staudt

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has launched the Curious Planet podcast hosted by Jacqueline Comito, director of the award-winning Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks! educational programs.

Curious Planet explores the captivating kinship of our experiences in nature, stories, emotions, sense of place and desire to belong, and how this might invigorate us to save the home we live in and rely on. Season One’s seven episodes provide stories and insights into moments of wonder found in the myriad ways we interact with nature each day. Curious Planet podcast logo.

Reflecting on the creation and purpose of Curious Planet, Comito said, “This podcast is all about asking questions, inviting listeners to consider their own stories, their own questions and their own experiences in nature as we try to find a way forward to heal the earth amidst a changing climate. Curiosity is our guide and hope is our language.”

The first season of Curious Planet was posted March 19, with access through popular listening platforms including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora and iHeartRadio.

These seven episodes feature thought-provoking commentary about the shifting understandings and interpretations of nature —and the importance of recognizing and grasping those changes, to lived experiences from Hawaii to Ireland and back to Iowa. Episodes also incorporate urban and rural perspectives on experiences of wonderment gleaned from Comito’s decades of conversations, observations and interactions with children and adults, farmers and urban dwellers, politicians, researchers and educators.

“Many of my ideas for Curious Planet grew out of interactions and conversations with people such as those who attended the international meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society held August 2023 in Des Moines,” continued Comito. “These and others who have a demonstrated passion for protecting our environment share grave concern for the future of our planet. However, many also share immense hope for the future, serving as inspiration for changing the status quo through thoughtful consideration and advocacy.”

“Invest a few minutes of your time, listen to an episode or two and let me know what you think, how it affected your outlook and share your own stories with me,” concluded Comito. “We are at a time where there are more questions than answers, but there is never a better time for curiosity, hope, ideas and innovation than now.”

About Curious Planet

Curious Planet is a podcast that explores how our experiences in nature connect us to our own stories, emotions, sense of place and desire to belong — and how this captivating kinship might invigorate us to save the home we live in and rely on. Moments of wonder in nature have inspired poets and writers, inventors and scientists, artists and adventurers throughout history. An anthropologist, writer, artist and accidental environmentalist, host Jacqueline Comito explores wonderment to heal and protect the earth.

Shareable photos: 1. Jacqueline Comito, host of the Curious Planet podcast. 2. Curious Planet podcast logo.

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