In order to protect our resident birds from the ongoing avian influenza outbreak, ALL visitors are required to use the disinfecting mats located at the main entrance of the Klingsberg Aviary. Thank you for doing your part to help our Avian Ambassadors stay safe and healthy! Learn more


Subscribe or listen below to Shaver’s Creek’s two podcast series: Cast from the Creek, which shares in-depth conversations with the many people who make Shaver’s Creek work, and The Incus & Iris, which explores different topics in the natural world.

Cast from the Creek

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Get to know the people in the Shaver’s Creek community through insightful and funny conversations in Shaver’s Creek’s new podcast series, Cast from the Creek! This podcast offers an inside look into the many people who make everything at Shaver’s Creek happen, and those who experience Shaver’s Creek’s many programs, from staff to students to community members.

Listen below, or subscribe in iTunes or your favorite podcast player. We also post the episodes on Facebook as they are released.

Featured Episode:

Episode List

Season 1

#1 – Raptor Center — Jason Beale — Matt speaks with Jason Beale, Program Director of Live Animal Care at Shaver’s Creek. They share a thoughtful discussion about taking care of animals, observing their behavior, and what brought Jason to Shaver’s Creek. Published February 17, 2016

#2 – Storytelling — Kristen “Fern” Balschunat — Matt talks with Kristen “Fern” Balschunat about her experiences as an environmental educator (and the fabulous Outdoor School program) and upcoming public programs, like “Stories by the Campfire.” She even shares a story from her story bag. Published February 24, 2016

#3 – Maple Harvest Festival — Laurie McLaughlin — It’s March, and that means Maple Harvest Festival is just around the corner! This week on our podcast, Matt talks to Laurie McLaughlin, who coordinates the much-loved educational (and delicious) event. If you’ve never been to the ‘fest before, or you’re already a fan, check out this episode! Published March 2, 2016

#4 – Raptors, Citizen Science, Volunteering — Jon Kauffman — This week’s guest is Jon Kauffman, Assistant Raptor Center Director. In Jon’s conversation with Matt, he talks about getting started as a volunteer, what he loves about the raptor center, the Tussey Mountain hawk watch, and citizen science programs like Project Feederwatch. It’s a great listen! Published March 11, 2016

#5 – AURORA — Jen Emigh & Drew Lehnerd — Jen and Drew talk about the importance of leadership in the outdoors and the AURORA Outdoor Orientation Programs for first-year and transfer students to Penn State. Published March 23, 2016

#6 – Outdoor School — Ellen “Xylem” Will — Matt talks with Ellen “Xylem” Will about the ins and outs of environmental education, nature deficit disorder, nature names, and of course, the brilliant program that is Outdoor School. Enjoy! Published April 6, 2016

#7 – Curiosity and Observation — Doug Wentzel — Doug Wentzel, naturalist and program director, speaks with Matt about the culture of Shaver’s Creek, its past and future, and the joy of being observant and curious every day. Published April 20, 2016

#8 Positive Outdoor Experiences — Kate Berardi — Matt speaks with Kate Berardi, our former director of school programs and summer camps at Shaver’s Creek, about how to make sure kids have a super positive outdoor experience while at the Creek! Even if you’re not a kid, a parent, or an educator, their discussion is very insightful. Published May 18, 2016

#9 Traveling Naturalist Programs — Jen Steigerwalt — Our latest Cast from the Creek is a conversation with Jen Steigerwalt, program director of traveling naturalist programs! If you like exploring the natural world, Shaver’s Creek, or just plain cool people, check out this episode. Published June 9, 2016

Season 2

#10 – Designing Sustainability — Dr. George VahoviakCast from the Creek is back. Season 2’s episodes will revolve around the theme of transitions (much like the Creek itself is about to go through), and what better way to kick off than featuring someone who’s been deeply involved with Shaver’s Creek since almost the very beginning: Dr. George Vahoviak! George and Matt share a wonderful conversation about the history of Shaver’s Creek and Conservation Leadership School, encouraging people to have positive outdoor experiences while learning about how they can design a sustainable future for the planet we all share.

George is retiring this month, and will be greatly missed. You can’t miss this wonderful conversation about the early days of the Creek, the exciting present day, and what’s next to come for George. Published September 21, 2016

#11 – Expeditions — Dr. Pete Allison — Matt and Associate Professor Pete Allison get philosophical in the latest Cast from the Creek. Listen along as they discuss travel, expeditions, and transitioning from Scotland to Pennsylvania. Published October 5, 2016

#12 – Fall Transitions — Doug Wentzel — Doug Wentzel returns for season 2! Matt and Doug chat about some of the many changes in the natural world that happen during autumn. Published October 19, 2016

#13 – Team Development — Chris Ortiz — Why is team development important? Shouldn’t it just happen naturally? Perhaps with a bit of thoughtful facilitation, communities can be even stronger. Published November 2, 2016

The Incus & Iris Podcast

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With the Incus & Iris Podcast, we hope to bring color and focus to the sights and sounds of the natural world. Hosts Joshua “Otus Megascops” Potter and Justin “Rutabaga” Raymond explore a different topic in each episode.

Give the Incus & Iris a listen, and then get out there and explore!

Listen below, or subscribe in iTunes or your favorite podcast player. (RSS Feed)

Episode List

#1 — Animal Tracking

Episode 1 is all about animal tracking!  Joshua and Justin discuss the basics of tracking (place, pattern, and print), offer some simple resources and suggestions for the beginning tracker, and go for a walk on a snowy day to find some tracks. Later, we observe on an opossum carcass with School Programs Coordinator Kate “Ladybird” Jordan (Discovery Semester students had witnessed a Red-tailed Hawk attack it the day prior,) and we check out the aftermath. Finally, we go for a jaunt with SEED Semester students for their Natural History Interpretation class, and talk about more animal signs with naturalist Doug Wentzel, including pileated woodpecker holes and porcupine scat!

Incus and Iris Hosts Joshua "Otus Megascops" Potter and Justin "Rutabaga" Raymond

Incus & Iris Hosts Justin “Rutabaga” Raymond and Joshua “Otus Megascops” Potter

What does “Incus and Iris” mean?

The incus is a tiny, anvil-shaped bone in a human’s inner ear.  The iris is the part of the eye responsible for the diameter and size of the pupil.  With the Incus & Iris Podcast, we hope to bring color and focus to the sights and sounds of the natural world.

What’s with the nature names?

At Shaver’s Creek, many of our staff members adopt a secondary “nature” name. These monikers are meant to be fun and are usually used during programs with kids, such as during Summer Camp and Outdoor School, but you’ll hear us frequently refer to staff members by their nature names.