254: John Marzluff | Birds, Farms, And Food Detailed “In Search Of Meadowlarks”

Welcome Dr. John Marzluff, Professor of Wildlife Sciences at the College of the Environment at the University of Washington in Seattle, to episode 254 of The Armen Show. Dr. Marzluff “studies how humans affect birds through habitat fragmentation and increased urbanization, as well as the challenges of conserving birds on islands.

Most of his focus is on ravens, crows, and jays, which are in the bird grouping known as “corvids”, and he looks at how birds affect people, such as with our art or language. Many of his books have focused on birds, including his latest book In Search of Meadowlarks: Birds, Farms, and Food in Harmony with the Land.

“In recognition of his work, he has been awarded the H.R. Painton Awards from the Cooper Ornithological Society, as well as the Washington State Book Award for general non-fiction.” In this episode, we discuss his latest non-fiction piece.

Show notes:

  • the current moment, with the world slowing down due to the pandemic
  • the career trajectory that Dr. Marzluff took to getting into decades of ornithological work
  • how we can take a look around our world with a relaxed pace, so as to maintain our Earth in good condition
  • the kind of research that Dr. Marzluff does, and places he has performed bird analysis at
  • what birds can represent about the impact that humans have had
  • the impact of corn and soybean subsidies, and what the farmland in the US would look like without those subsidies
  • why meadowlarks were chosen for the title of the book
  • farming as related to water consumption and planning
  • a closing message

Thanks to Dr. Marzluff for joining on this episode. You can check out In Search of Meadowlarks on Amazon, or take a look at his faculty page.