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 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.

  • Episode 9: A Mountain Poem

    December 18th, 2018  |  11 mins 21 secs

    In this episode, Westminster College Environmental Studies Professor Xiumei Pu sends us into winter with a reading of a poem by T'ao Ch'ien (translated by David Hinton). The episode is, perhaps, best enjoyed with a glass of wine.

  • Episode 8: Tar Seeps, Pelicans, and Connections

    December 9th, 2018  |  45 mins 53 secs
    collaborative summer research grants, great salt lake institute

    We continue our series of stories about the Great Salt Lake today with 2 stories about Pelicans, a piece of new music, and a report from a couple of our summer collaborative research grants. First, Kara Kornhauser discusses her research related to pelicans and tar seeps near the Spiral Jetty on the shores of the lake. Next, I interview Connor Lockie about his new piece of music, "Mass for Pelicans," and we'll share that composition. Finally, Hikmet Loe and Scout Enviros talk about the work they did this summer as part of their summer collaborative research project, "The Necessity of Landscape."

  • Episode 7: Great Salt Lake Resorts

    November 27th, 2018  |  24 mins 59 secs
    great salt lake, interviews, resorts, utah

    Today, the most famous resorts in northern Utah are in the mountains. But that wasn't always the case. For much of the 20th century people flocked to the shores of Great Salt Lake to spend time swimming, listening to music, dancing, and sunbathing. We'll explore some of the history of those resorts in today's episode, the first of two episodes in which we'll focus on the lake. We begin with Jeff Nichols discussing the history of the lake resorts and their connection to the city. Then we'll have a chance to hear Rebecca Richard talk about her own personal experiences of spending time at the lake in the 1970s.

  • Episode 6: Utah Avalanche Center Fall Fundraiser

    October 21st, 2018  |  13 mins 4 secs
    avalanche, mountains, recreation, skiing, utah, wasatch, winter

    The Utah Avalanche Center works to bring avalanche awareness to the community as well as resources that help people to be more knowledgeable about avalanche safety. We talked with some of the attendees about their experiences in the mountains.

  • Episode 5: Fireside Chat with Mike and Lily Libecki

    April 9th, 2017  |  53 mins 35 secs
    adventure, climbing, mountains, recreation

    On January 25, Mike we had Mike and Lily Libecki join us for a fireside chat. Mike is a National Geographic Expeditioner and his daughter, Lily, is 13 years old and just started her own nonprofit. We were able to have a Q and A with them to ask them all about their travels around the world! This is a live recording from the fireside chat!

  • Episode 4: Fireside Chat with Peter Metcalf

    January 24th, 2017  |  37 mins 6 secs
    adventure, black diamond, business, climbing, mountain, utah

    Peter Metcalf, founder and former CEO of Black Di…