Washenko, H., A. Velopolcak, R. Kosik, R. Curtis, R. Stetz, Z. Wilson, and K. Klemow.  2008. DEVELOPING A PODCAST NATURE GUIDE FOR THE KIRBY PARK NATURAL AREA, WILKES-BARRE.  Contributed poster: Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter meeting. Abstract: Ecological Society of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter Meeting Abstracts .

Visitors to hiking trails and other natural areas often have access to paper-based trail guides that provide information about the history and natural features found along the trail.  While such paper-based guides are handy and informative, they can become outdated, need to be restocked when the supply is exhausted, and may become litter when discarded.  The emergence of new technologies, especially associated with podcasting, provides an opportunity to replace paper trail guides with electronic versions that can be downloaded to an mp3 player.  Over the past year, we developed a podcast guide to a hiking trail in the Kirby Park Natural Area, which is an 80-acre riparian urban forest in Wilkes-Barre, PA.  That guide currently consists of twenty image-enhanced podcast episodes – each focusing on a single station along the trail or on a species of note.  The podcasts cover a variety of ecological topics, including various habitat types found in the Kirby Natural Area, key ecological processes, and representative species of vascular plants and megafauna.  The podcasts, created using GarageBand software on the Macintosh OS, have been uploaded to Wilkes University’s iTuneU website (http://itunes.wilkes.edu) and are publicly available.  Representative podcast episodes will be presented.  The results of a user survey concerning the podcasts’ effectiveness will also be presented and discussed.

This page posted and maintained by Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D., Biology Department, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766. (570) 408-4758, kklemow@wilkes.edu.