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Gulf Coast Life

Monday through Thursday at 1 & 9PM

Hosted by Mike Kiniry

Gulf Coast Life is a locally produced talk show that strives to connect listeners to the people, places, and things that make Southwest Florida unique.

Produced & Hosted by: Mike Kiniry
Contributing Hosts: John Davis, Cary Barbor, and Tara Calligan

Facebook: WGCU Public Media
Twitter: twitter.com/wgcu - #GCL

Latest Episodes
  • When it comes to gauging how risky it is to live where major hurricanes sometimes make landfall, the most important thing to know is what’s called the ‘return period.’ That is the estimated average time between such storms. But, because historic records only go back so far scientists use other ways to determine how frequent major storms have occurred in the past. One such technique is called paleoclimatology — or more specifically in the case of massive storms like Hurricane Ian, paleotempestology.We meet one of these scientists who is doing this kind of research work right here in Southwest Florida. Dr. Jo Muller is a paleoclimatologist and a Professor in the Department of Marine & Earth Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. She studies past tropical cyclone activity by collecting core samples from lagoons and bays behind Southwest Florida’s barrier islands.
  • Several weeks after Hurricane Ian made landfall a team of faculty and student researchers from Florida Gulf Coast University’s Water School joined a weeklong, offshore research trip to collect water samples and survey sea beds to better understand the storm’s ecological impact. We talk with two of the research team members to learn more about the trip and what they found.
  • Katherine Stewart is an investigative reporter and author whose work focuses on issues around religious liberty, politics, policy, and education. Her work appears in the New York Times op ed, on NBC, in the New Republic, and in the New York Review of Books. In her latest book, "The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism" Stewart lays out how the Religious Right in the United States has portrayed itself as a social movement focusing on cultural issues, but is actually a well-organized political movement that has evolved into a Christian nationalist movement that seeks to gain political power and to impose its vision on all of society.
  • In his new book, “Fort Myers Historic Hurricanes” Tom Hall offers a history of severe storms that have impacted southwest Florida dating all the way back to 1841, but he also provides a dire warning about this area’s severe risk from hurricanes and storm surge in general. It opens with a hurricane in 1841 that swept across the region making landfall near Sanibel Island and bringing 14' of storm surge to the U.S. Army fort on Punta Rassa.
  • Delegations from nearly 200 countries came together earlier this month in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt for the United Nations 27th Climate Change Conference, referred to as COP27. The goal was to bring countries together to try to take action towards achieving the world's collective climate goals as agreed to under the Paris Agreement in 2015. The consensus among many attendees was that COP27 was a disappointment. We get a first-hand take on what happened over those two weeks in Egypt with three local activists who are part of a team that produced daily video updates summarizing what was unfolding at the conference.
  • In the leadup to the midterm elections Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state of Florida’s new Office of Election Crimes and Security had arrested 20 people who allegedly had knowingly registered to vote illegally during the previous election in 2020. He said this was the first step in addressing wide-scale voter fraud — despite there being no evidence of such fraud in Florida. The problem is, there is no straightforward way for former felons — or for election officials — to determine whether someone who has completed their sentence for a felony conviction has satisfied all requirements to be eligible to vote.
  • While it might seem obvious that a devastating hurricane would have an immediate negative impact on the mental well-being of those impacted, there is a growing understanding among mental health professionals that underlying concerns over possible future natural disasters is also weighing on many people’s minds. And there is growing evidence that the growing size and scope of natural disasters is being driven by climate change. We talk with Dr. Lise Van Susteren, she is a forensic psychiatrist who is an expert on the physical and psychological impacts of climate change.
  • Analysis of Florida’s 2022 general election results with a look toward what they’ll mean for the state going forward in a conversation with UCF political scientist Aubrey Jewett, Ph.D., and FGCU Political Scientist Peter Bergerson, Ph.D.
  • Robert N. Macomber is an award-winning author of maritime novels, best known for his Honor Series, including the 16th title “Code of Honor” which was released in April of 2022. We’ve had him on the show over the years to talk about his novels and his life’s adventures, and he was a guest on our show Three Song Stories back in 2018. But, today he joins us to talk about what he and his wife have experienced since Hurricane Ian made landfall, completely destroying their Pine Island home.
  • Dig into the history of the Cuban sandwich with the authors of the new book “The Cuban Sandwich: A History in Layers.”