The Podcast Series

Selections from the RISE radio series are available as six 20-minute podcasts. Share with your students, friends and colleagues. Stream and download here or subscribe using your podcatcher of choice:


If you are in San Francisco, listen while on a ferry boat ride or wandering down the Embarcardero or Pier 39. With the water churning, Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline provide wonderful backdrops for these stories.


Podcast 1: Swamped

“San Francisco and Oakland International Airports. Silicon Valley, home to Apple and Intel and Google are vulnerable to sea level rise.” –Will Travis

Sea level rise is an effect of global climate change. As oceans absorb heat from carbon pollution, the waters expand. And glacial melt pours more water into the oceans. Hear how rising waters plus high tides and powerful storm surges impact shoreline communities of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Podcast 2: Stemming the Tide

While we must stop adding greenhouse gases to the global atmosphere, conservation and green technologies can no longer keep climate change from impacting people, wildlife, and the lands and waters we depend on. Adapting to climate change is also necessary. This story is about creative solutions to deal with sea level rise for cities at the waters’ edge.

Podcast 3: Levees and Legacies

Steve Mello farms an island in the Delta, where waters of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers merge before flowing through San Francisco Bay. His long-farmed land lies below sea level. Levees protect it from the surrounding waters. But levees fail and need frequent repair; as sea levels rise, this task gets harder and more costly. Yet Mello says he is not leaving come hell or high water.

Podcast 4: Ill Tidings

T. Jack Foster Jr and his father created Foster City, a community of 30,000 people, by diking, draining and filling San Francisco Bay wetlands. But the fill used to turn wetlands into real estate brought the land just up to the current sea level, and climate change threatens its levees. Although urban planners say Foster City needs to be redesigned, T. Jack says the levees can simply be built higher and higher.

Podcast 5: Saving Alviso

Chuey Cazares has lived all of his 21 years in Alviso, a tiny hamlet poking into the salt ponds at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay. Alviso sits below sea level. Flooding from the creeks above and the Bay below threaten to fill it up like a bowl. There are plans to save Alviso, but adapting to climate change has some serious downsides for Chuey’s clan.

Podcast 6: Bay Splendor

San Francisco Bay is actually an estuary—the largest estuary on the Pacific coast of the Americas—and it is a place of great biological diversity. We journey underneath its surface to swim with the harbor seals; we look overhead at a million migratory birds; and we explore marshlands along its shores.