John Weeks

Host, The Nature of Things

John Weeks studied ornithology and wildlife management at Cornell University and earned a graduate degree in plant ecology from Syracuse University. He has served as Conservation Biologist for the NYS Conservation Department; Associate Professor of Biology at SUNY Oswego; Founding Director of The Rogers Environmental Education Center at Sherburne, NY; and Director of the Onondaga Nature Center and Center for Nature Education at Baltimore Woods, Marcellus, NY.  He assisted in the creation of the Cayuga Nature Center and the Sterling Nature Center in Cayuga County near Fair Haven, NY.

Over the years John has written hundreds of nature columns for regional newspapers, and in 1982 began writing and narrating The Nature of Things, his weekly radio program that aired on WRVO for many years and is now available as a series of podcasts at the WRVO website.

Ways To Connect

John Weeks remembers the first great voyage of Captain James Cook and his oft-forgotten travel partner, naturalist Joseph Banks. He describes how Cook has received all the glory for the historical voyage, while Banks is known only to botanists and biologists.

John Weeks describes his explorations following the Great Blizzard of '93. March of 2013 marks the 20 year anniversary of the Storm of the Century.

Snowbanks perform many functions, but it is a liberating event when they show signs of disappearing. John Weeks discusses everything that is coming to life within snowbanks and everything that is left behind after the final ones melt.

John Weeks recommends various nature-related literature to be read while waiting for spring to fully bloom.

Bluebird: Our State Bird

Mar 15, 2013

John Weeks talks at length about the bluebird and the effect the bluebird has had on his love of nature in general.

John Weeks discusses the arrival of various bird species beginning in late February and continuing through the spring months. Migration timetables are rarely disrupted by fickle March weather.

The Energy of Spring

Mar 8, 2013

John Weeks sees spring as an episode rather than an event. He describes how the energy required for springtime life comes from the generosity of previous seasons.

On Pain and Alertness

Mar 5, 2013

John Weeks discusses an uncomfortable pain he experienced during a walk at Baltimore Woods Nature Center. He advises getting out in nature as much as you can before old age begins to limit your chances.

It's Maple Sugar Time

Mar 1, 2013

John Weeks sits down for an interview with professional maple sugar maker Karl Wiles. Wiles describes the process of extracting sap and the variety of confections that can be made thanks to the maple tree.

The Refining Process

Feb 26, 2013

John Weeks discusses works of literature and authors that have influenced him over the course of his life, including Henry Thoreau, Donald Peattie, and Aldo Leopold.

Much of nature is covered by snow each winter. John Weeks dispels the rumor that the winter landscape without snow is baron and uninteresting.

Weather...Whether or Not

Feb 19, 2013

John Weeks discusses how pressure systems coming from all over the continent can mean plenty of snow in upstate New York during the month of February.

Dirt and soil can be a nuisance. However, John Weeks describes how soils have an amazing influence on our native environment.

Butcherbird

Feb 8, 2013

John Weeks discusses the shrike or "butcherbird." So called because of its eating habits, the shrike violently feeds on large insects, small rodents, and small songbirds.

CNY's Colorful Past

Feb 5, 2013

Central New York has undergone many physical changes in its history. John Weeks discusses the transformation of the local landscape and remembers the species that once roamed the area.

John Weeks discusses the transformation of the coyote into a suburban menace. He suggests that the tension between human and coyote is bound to grow and spread.

John Weeks has great patience with slow drivers. He explains the function of slow driving, describing the people behind the wheel as "philosophers."

The Fruit of the Vine

Jan 25, 2013

John Weeks sits down for an interview with a grape grower to discuss the grape culture in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York.

John Weeks discusses the history of Fahrenheit and Celsius. He points out that there are some detectable differences which a simple thermometer cannot detect.

Nature's Vineyard

Jan 18, 2013

John Weeks discusses plant life that is rarely found in the index or glossary of nature books: the vine. Some are very important to wildlife, including grape, poison ivy, and morning glory vines.

Wildlife does not stay hidden for long after a blizzard passes. John Weeks suggests that there are plenty of lessons to be learned while exploring after a big storm.

Snowshoeing

Jan 11, 2013

John Weeks discusses his limited experience with snowshoeing and recounts various encounters with wildlife while out on the winter trails.

When It Gets This Cold

Jan 8, 2013

John Weeks suggests that both man and wildlife need to know their limitations in order for maximum productivity in cold weather.

John Weeks discusses what the conventional thinking regarding bird migration used to be, and how it has advanced in recent centuries through the use of "banding."

Weeks describes that within branches, seeds, soil, and creatures exist promises of the approaching season.

Let It Snow

Dec 28, 2012

John Weeks discusses the effect snow has on shrubs, trees, and animals. He makes the point that a tape measure snowstorm effects man far more than the creatures in nature.

John Weeks discusses the types of scenes he sees on the Christmas cards he gives and receives. He notes a lack of ecological accuracy and an emphasis on cuteness.

John Weeks discusses all aspects of a pond in winter with the help of a reliable guide, the muskrat. While some creatures remain tethered beneath the ice to wait out the winter, there are fewer signs of life than in other seasons.

John Weeks shares everything there is to know about the flying squirrel and recounts an experience with one earlier on in his life.

John Weeks discusses behaviors and preparations of animals and plants in nature during the winter months. He suggests that the wild world has no time for "cabin fever."

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