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Topophilia is a podcast about places, the people who care for them, and the things we love to do in them.

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Wild Work: Elma Burnham

Elma Burnham is a commercial fisherman, passionate seafood advocate, and community builder based in Bellingham, Washington and Bristol Bay, Alaska. In Late 2017, Elma began a movement called “The Strength of the Tides is Hers Also,” which seeks to support, celebrate and empower women working on the water. It all started with “The Pledge,” which challenged deckhands, captains, and others in the fishing industry to hold each other accountable in raising the bar for respect and affirmation of women who work in maritime industries. Strength of The Tides has since grown into a broad and deep community of maritime women via a weekly Instagram series featuring female role models in fishing and through in-person gatherings of women working in the industry. What follows is a fun, wide-ranging, and insightful conversation with a young and passionate community advocate. We hope you enjoy listening.Links:The Pledge Strength of the Tides Instagram: @strengthofthetides Strength of the Tides Website


1 Apr 2019

Rank #1

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Wild Work: Carey Favaloro

Welcome to the first installment in our new series Wild Work, which highlights individuals who, motivated by their connections to place, are devoting time and resources to create something amazing. These folks are passionate, driven, and inspired to do their work by the places that they choose to surround themselves with. They are athletes, fishermen, scientists, activists, and more. What unites them is their sense of commitment to a cause which is rooted in their communities, livelihoods, and the places they call home.Our first conversation is with Carey Favaloro, an Aspen Mountain Ski Patroller, educator, and badass mountain athlete, among many other things. We called up Carey to discuss an inspiring and important project that she’s working on. Carey is racing the Grand Traverse, a 40-mile ski race from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado, through the rugged elk mountains. Along the way she’s raising money for the Wilder Women Project, a Colorado non-profit that creates opportunities for women to spend time in wild places together. So far Carey and her partner Sammy Podhurst have raised over $5,000 and counting. During the race Sammy and Carey will have to rely closely on each other to assess avalanche problems, make route-finding decisions, and pick each other up when they are feeling down. As Carey explains, the race is a perfect example of why it’s so important for women to get outside together to learn more about themselves and the spaces they find themselves in. We hope you enjoy listening.Carey and Sammy’s GoFundMe for the Wilder Women Project.The Wilder Women Project WebsiteSome Photos of Carey and SammyPhoto: Katie Cassetta


12 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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Contours: The Zion Narrows

Picture this: you’re deep in the desert, hiking down your favorite trail, when you stumble upon some “For Sale” signs right alongside it. How would you react? For thousands of visitors to the Narrows trail in Zion National Park, this quickly became reality. When a long-running negotiation between a private landowner and the National Park Service came to a head, this world-famous trail faced an uncertain future. In our most recent Contours we dig into the backstory of these dramatic signs and discover the complex web of public-private land ownership and how it affects access to iconic landscapes.In This EpisodeBill Dunn: Manager, Zion Adventure CompanyJim Petterson: Southwest and Colorado State Director, Trust for Public Land


26 Nov 2018

Rank #3

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Stories That Shape Us: Molly Bayer

This is part 2 of our mentorship series, which we recorded live during a story-telling event at the Patagonia store in Seattle. This story comes to you from Molly Bayer, who reminds us why it’s important to remember what it’s like to be a beginner, even as you become an expert.This episode is a part of a short series recorded live at a storytelling event focused on mentorship in the outdoors. Thanks to Patagonia Seattle for their support and for hosting this event.Links:BOEALPS


13 May 2019

Rank #4

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Locals Only

What does it mean to be a “local” somewhere? For us, local status is deeply connected to intimate knowledge of a place — the best secret camping spots, the cheapest happy hour, leftover powder stashes, and empty saturday morning trails. In this episode we look into how we define locals, and along the way we confront some of our own preconceptions. We speak with three people—Alison Miller of Leavenworth, WA; Matt Lanning of Aspen, CO, and Gabe Joseph of Santa Fe, NM—who help us along this journey. It turns out that local identity is a little more nuanced than we imagined.Music in this episode is provided by The Good Lawdz and Free Music Archive.We’d also like to thank our guest editor Molly Bayer for her expert opinions and advice on the final drafts of the episode. Got opinions? hey@topophiliapodcast.com.In This EpisodeGabe Joseph: Software Engineer and former dirtbag. Santa Fe, New Mexico.Alison Miller: Climber, architect, business owner, and President of Leavenworth Mountain Association. Leavenworth, Washington.Matt Lanning: backcountry skier, mountain biker, and Suerte Tequila ambassador. Aspen, Colorado.


1 Oct 2018

Rank #5