The Mountain Stories Podcast

Stories about mountains and the people who live, work, and play in them.

About the show

Presented by the Institute for Mountain Research at Westminster College, the Mountain Story Podcast will share the stories of people who live, work, and play in the mountains. The Institute for Mountain Research provides a hub to coordinate and support interdisciplinary research and learning related to the cultural, economic, scientific and political facets of mountain landscapes and the people who live in them. We encourage deep and abiding interests in the mountains, the people who live in and near them, and the connections between the two. The Institute supports thinking across disciplinary and political boundaries in order to foster conversations about the landscapes that are part of our lives. We strive to serve as a home for exploration, a refuge for reflection and thought, and a forum for community conversation.

The Mountain Stories Podcast on social media

Episodes

  • Episode 24: Mountains and Stories: Obaid Barakzai

    September 25th, 2021  |  43 mins 22 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast, a documentary, and a series of local events. It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Obaid Barakzai. Obaid Barakzai is originally from Kabul, Afghanistan. He is Afghan by nationality, Pashtun by ethnicity, and a mountaineer by heart.

  • Episode 23: Mountains and Stories: Anda Xie

    August 22nd, 2021  |  17 mins 13 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast, a documentary, and a series of local events. It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Anda Xie. Anda is a seventh grader here in Salt Lake City, UT.

  • Episode 22: Mountains and Stories: Prashanti Limbu

    August 8th, 2021  |  42 mins 21 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast, a documentary, and a series of local events. It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Prashanti Limbu. Prashanti is from Nepal and is currently an international student at Westminster College

  • Episode 21: Mountains and Stories: Nikki Navio

    July 31st, 2021  |  45 mins 18 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains. In addition to theses podcasts, we will also be holding a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains on October 23, 2021. It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode we're talking with Nikki Navio. NIkki (she/her) was born on Panay Island in the Philippines. She is currently a Transportation Planner at the Wasatch Front Regional Council, where her days are dedicated to working with communities and alongside partners to plan for better regional transportation mobility in the Wasatch Front.

  • Episode 20: Mountains and Stories: Kripa Thapa

    July 17th, 2021  |  29 mins 50 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Kripa Thapa. Kripa recently graduated from the Master's program in geography and Geographic Information Science master's student from the University of Utah. Besides these engagements over the past two years, she conducted my research titled "Assessment of mountain water supply and storage at sub-basin scale in Nepal."

    Besides these engagements over the past two years, I conducted my research titled "Assessment of mountain water supply and storage at sub-basin scale in Nepal". The study aims to elucidate the primary drivers of water vulnerability in the mountain ecosystems of Nepal and provide a framework to help combat potential water scarcity that will be of interest to policymakers and researchers in the long run.

  • Episode 19: Mountains and Stories: Kevin Nguyen

    July 11th, 2021  |  59 mins 56 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Kevein Nguyen. Kevin Nguyen (he/him) is a resident of West Valley, child of an immigrant family, community advocate, and avid outdoorsman. He was born and raised here in Salt Lake City, where he attended the University of Utah for both his graduate and undergraduate degree in Public Health and Exercise Science. Kevin believes that everyone has such a potential to change the lives of others for the better and works to serve his community wherever possible. Growing up through the “struggles”, he personally knows the challenges and understands how the power of community when everyone comes together to help one another. When he isn’t involved in his work, he spends his time exploring our wonderful mountains on his mountain bike or on foot during rescue operations as a Squad Leader with Salt Lake County’s Search and Rescue team.

  • Episode 18: Mountains and Stories: Jake Fitisemanu

    June 19th, 2021  |  51 mins 35 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Jake Fitisemanu. Jake co-founded the Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition and has chaired the annual statewide Pacific Islander Health Week since 2012. He was appointed to the US Census National Advisory Council in 2014 and serves on the Board of Directors of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and the Mana Academy Charter School. He also teaches lion dancing at the Jung Hing Lion Dance Club.

  • Episode 17: Mountains and Stories: Emilio Manuel Camu

    June 12th, 2021  |  52 mins 54 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Emilio Manuel Camu. Emilio Manuel Camu is a queer Tagalog-Bikolnon Filipino immigrant and first-generation graduate of the University of Utah, where he received both his BS Communication and Asian Pacific Islander Studies and MEd in Educational Leadership & Policy. For the past eleven years, he has served on the boards of numerous Asian Pacific Islander organizations both locally and nationally demonstrating his commitment to equity and justice. He currently serves as the National Vice President of Education & Culture for OCA National, Director and current president of OCA Asian Pacific Islander American Advocates Utah, founder and director of the Filipino American National Historical Society Utah, and the treasurer for Mana Academy Charter School.

  • Episode 16: Mountains and Stories: Ze Min Xiao

    June 5th, 2021  |  45 mins 58 secs

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu in her project "Mountains and Stories." Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, we talk with Ze Min Xiao. When we conducted the interview earlier this spring, she was the Director of the Office for New Americans in Salt Lake County. She has since started a new position as the Director of the newly launched Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging at the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.

  • Episode 15: Mountains and Stories: Introducing the New Season with Dr. Xiumei Pu

    May 29th, 2021  |  30 mins 29 secs
    aapi, american, asian, culture, education, environmental humanities, humanities, mountains, pacific islanders, stories

    This summer and fall we'll be collaborating with Dr. Xiumei Pu to share stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Salt Lake Valley. Mountains and Stories is a community-building endeavor among diverse Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant families living in Salt Lake Valley. Anchored in the theme of mountains, the project consists of a twelve-part podcast and a documentary, a storytelling-conversation cultural event (June 26, 2021), and a group hike in the Wasatch Mountains (October 23, 2021). It is our hope that these efforts will amplify the environmental voices of Asian and Pacific Islander refugee and immigrant communities, and spark more public interest in thinking about the connection between culture, identity, and the natural environment. In this episode, Dr. Pu introduces talks more about this project.

  • Episode 14: Backcountry Skiing in the Wasatch

    July 22nd, 2020  |  1 hr 3 mins

    In a flashback to winter and the beginning of the pandemic, Jeff Nichols sits down with members of Westminster College's backcountry skiing community to talk about what getting out into the mountains means to them.

  • Embodied Landscapes, Embodied Minds, and Restorative Nature

    April 8th, 2020  |  37 mins 34 secs
    art, honors college, westminster faculty

    This February, Westminster's Student Honors Council invited Hikmet Loe and Russ Costa to lead a discussion around issues of nature and mental health. They called the discussion "Embodied Landscapes, Embodied Minds, and Restorative Nature" and asked Hikmet and Russ to talk about their experiences in nature and links to mental health. You can view the images discussed in this episode on the Mountain Stories Podcast website. And, in classic Honors college fashion, Russ and Hikmet grounded this concept in texts, art and photography from around the world.

  • Episode 12: A Walk in the Park with Ranjan Adiga

    December 17th, 2019  |  15 mins 31 secs
    humanities, literature, narrative

    As we head into Winter Break here in Salt Lake City, I invited Ranjan Adiga, a professor of English to share a story that he's written about the mountains. Today, Ranjan shares a reflection about growing up in Nepal, his move to Utah, and how that move has reframed his relationship to the mountains nearby.

  • Episode 11: Conserving Mountain Landscapes around the World

    November 25th, 2019  |  59 mins 4 secs

    In this episode, we discuss the student-centered programs of Round River Conservations Studies. We talk with Elizabeth Brunner (a Round River instructor), Kelsey Barber and Rain Keating (2 students recently returned from Round River Programs), and Frank Black (a Westminster Professor who spent part of his sabbatical with Round River in Patagonia).

  • Remembering the Westminster Expedition

    March 3rd, 2019  |  40 mins 41 secs
    expedition, westminster college

    During the 2017 Fall Semester, 14 students, two professors, and a program coordinator loaded a bunch of books and some camping gear into a trailer, piled into a couple of vans, and took off on a 10,000 mile, 84 day academic adventure around the American West. We've been back for a little more than a year and were curious about what students remembered and what they learned on the trip. This is what they had to say.

    The trip is designed as an exploration into the issues at the heart of the contemporary West. Students will earn 16 credits in environmental studies and history as they study Environmental Cooperation and Conflict, Landscape and Meaning, the History of Public Lands, and the Native West.

    This prolonged journey into the field will allow us to learn directly from landscapes and ecosystems, as well as from people who live, work, and study in those places. Together, we expect to build a cohort of impassioned scholars with a particular breadth and depth of experiential knowledge who are equipped to build a better future for the West.

  • Brenden Rensink: Running and Writing Mountains

    February 15th, 2019  |  28 mins 21 secs
    history, mountains

    Brenden Rensink, BYU historian and assistant director of the Charles Redd Center, talks about how his trail-running hobby influences his scholarship.