Live climate-focused podcast ‘The Sweaty Penguin’ will record at KU

LAWRENCE — The Commons and the University of Kansas Environmental Studies Program will host Ethan Brown, creator and host of “The Sweaty Penguin” podcast, for a live episode recording, which will feature an interview with Kansas Geological Survey postdoctoral researcher Malena Orduña Alegría. This event is presented in the lead-up to this year’s Global Climate Teach-in and in partnership with professor of geography and director of the environmental studies program Shannon O’Lear’s Geographic Adventures in Climate Change course.

This event will take place at 5:30 p.m. March 25 in the Hawk’s Nest of the Kansas Union and is open to the public. Pizza and beverages will be available for event attendees.

Throughout the spring semester, students in EVRN300/GEOG300 have explored the relationships between human systems and environmental processes and the scales at which the interactions can occur. As part of this work, they have been listening to episodes of “The Sweaty Penguin” to learn from Brown’s journalistic framing of climate-related stories.

What makes “The Sweaty Penguin” unique among climate-themed podcasts is its commitment to bringing solutions and humor to the climate conversation. Brown, the show's creator, strives to combat anxiety and polarization by cutting through the doom and gloom of climate news. It has licensed episodes to PBS's climate initiative Peril and Promise, received honors at the Webby and Signal awards, and was named a Solutions Journalism Network Climate Beacon Newsroom — in part due to its collaboration with KU.

“’The Sweaty Penguin’ podcast offers this class a fantastic starting point to think through human, environmental and spatial aspects of the changing climate,” O’Lear said. “Thanks to the range of topics covered by this podcast – sea turtles, fast fashion and light pollution, for instance – the students in this class get to practice different kinds of geographic thinking. We look forward to seeing Ethan Brown in action on the topic of water in Kansas.”

Brown’s interview at KU will highlight the work of Orduña Alegría, who studies the relationships between human and water systems and focuses on agriculture, groundwater depletion and governance. In addition to traditional research methods, they create game to help communities understand the complex set of factors that affect farmers’ decision-making through role-playing and strategy-development.

Thu, 03/21/2024


Emily Ryan

Media Contacts

Emily Ryan

The Commons