All posts by Eric R. Olson

Eric is a writer and producer specializing in science and natural history. He is the former digital producer for NATURE on PBS. Originally from Seattle, Eric now resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Our Increasingly ‘Unnatural World’ with Environmental Journalist David Biello

In the latest episode of the InsideNATURE podcast, we speak with David Biello, environmental journalist and author of the book “The Unnatural World: The Race to Remake Civilization in Earth’s Newest Age”. The book details the many ways human activity has altered our planet, often for the worse, and examines efforts to rollback those alterations, or […]

Spy in the Wild: A NATURE mini-series

How to Build a ‘Spy Creature’ with Animatronic Designer John Nolan

What does it takes to make a ‘spy creature’ come alive? In the latest episode of the InsideNATURE podcast, we hear from animatronic designer John Nolan, who, along with his hardworking team, created the 30-plus robot spy creatures featured in upcoming NATURE mini-series Spy in the Wild (airing Feb 1st thru March 1st on PBS). The […]

Snowbound: Animals of Winter

Everything You Wanted to Know About Reindeer and their Future in the Great White North

This time of year one animal species gets all of the attention–that hardy, sled-pulling athlete of the North, the reindeer. To find out more about these cold-loving creatures, and their wild counterparts, the caribou, we turned to Justina Ray, senior scientist and executive director of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Canada. She filled us in on […]

The Crab with the Kung Fu Grip

Poking around on the beach, you may have encountered a hermit crab — a typically petite crustacean whose home is the shell it carries around on its back. Now imagine that tiny crab grew bigger and bigger until it could no longer find a large enough shell. With no means of defense, it develops a […]

Meet the Snail-Smashing, Fish-Spearing Mantis Shrimp

Contrary to their name, mantis shrimp aren’t actually shrimp. They belong to another group of shelled critters called stomatopods that split from other crustaceans about 400 million years ago. However, like their land-based namesake, the preying mantis, they use their lightning-fast forelimbs to snag a meal. Mantis shrimp apply two main strategies — spearing or […]

My Congo

Podcast: Wildlife Cameraman Vianet D’jenguet On ‘My Congo’

The new NATURE episode My Congo represents the first opportunity for cameraman Vianet D’jenguet to film his native country and be in front of the camera rather than behind it. I spoke to him about the origins of the film, conservation in the Republic of Congo and what he hopes to achieve with this intimate look at his […]

Super Hummingbirds

Podcast: Talking Hummingbirds with Ann Johnson Prum

In this episode, we speak with producer and cinematographer Anne Johnson Prum. Anne has produced a number of films for NATURE including Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air in 2010 and the Emmy-nominated mini-series Animal Homes. Her latest, Super Hummingbirds, premieres on PBS October 12 at 87/c (Check local listings.)

Featured Creature: The Vaquita

The vaquita (pronounced VA-Keeta) is the smallest, and most endangered, whale species in the world. It reaches a maximum length of 5 feet and weighs less than 120 lbs. Vaquitas are easily distinguished by the dark markings around their lips and eyes, which look a bit like dark lipstick and mascara. The name vaquita means […]