The first season of HEAR UR, “Under the Low Bridge,” is focused on the local history of Erie Canal, but with one major catch: all of the stories engage in an environmental topic. Student groups identified their topics, developed historical questions, uncovered research material, and then drafted radio scripts. They visited field sites, learned how to read landscapes, and were introduced to the methodological and theoretical approaches to studying the history of the environment.
The second season of Hear UR explores the history of modern taxidermy through the life and works of its most famous practitioner, Carl Akeley. It follows Akeley’s life and career as it came into contact with local Rochesterians, like George Eastman and Henry Ward, and national figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Gilford Pinchot, and P.T. Barnum. This history of the strange art of taxidermy reveals the variety of ways people a hundred years ago reacted to the constant death and disappearance of the natural world, and suggests, that we are not so far removed from the world the taxidermists made.