Headwaters Podcast


A show about how Glacier National Park is connected to everything else.

Cover Art for Season One of Headwaters: a mountain valley filled with ice.
Season One: Confluence

We travel to every major region of Glacier in search of confluences: where nature and culture come together in unexpected ways.

Cover art for season two of headwaters: a painting of a whitebark pine
Season Two: Whitebark

Documenting a generational effort to restore a species, whitebark pine prompt us to explore our relationship to National Parks.

Cover art for season three of Headwaters: ice encasing the characters of season three.
Season Three: Becoming

Whiskey running, war on wolves, drilling for oil & dreaming of riches—this is a collection of histories that refuse to stay in the past.

The cover art for season three of Headwaters: Ice freezing each character of the story

Season Three: Becoming

Season three is a history of Glacier National Park in nine episodes. From whiskey running and the war on wolves, to drilling for oil and dreaming of riches, this is a collection of stories about history refusing to stay in the past. Listen to Headwaters wherever you get your podcasts or online here.


Season Three Episodes:

Consider this an extended warm up for season three of Headwaters. This episode includes two interviews about time, landscape, and history, that set the stage for the next nine to come. 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Glacier has a history of oil extraction. We travel to Many Glacier to see the consequences, and the causes, of climate change. Along the way we talk to young people about how it feels to live with the weight of history.  

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Find the Rising Voices Poetry Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rising-voices-of-the-blackfeet-nation/id1551386452

Special thanks this episode to Jim Elser with the Flathead Biological Station, and students Dalton, Sylvia, Jack, Hallie, and Megan. Mark Hansen with the Wild Rockies Field Institute and all your students: Koby, Kaylie, Claire, Margaret, Julia, Delaney, Catalina, Katherine, Serendipity, and Lily. And of course, a big thank you to Amy Andreas with the Rising Voices Poetry Club at Browning High, and students Kiera, Emaeyah, Lily, Vita, Rebecca, Trysten, Sovereign, and Emily.


DeSanto, Jerome. “Drilling at Kintla Lake: Montana’s First Oil Well.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 35, no. 1 (1985): 24–37. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4518869.

Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power. Free Press trade pbk. ed. New York: Free Press, 2008.

Thompson, Jessie, ed. Early Days in the Forest Service. Vol. 1. 4 vols. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, 1944. https://foresthistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/EARLY-DAYS-IN-THE-FOREST-SERVICE-vol1.pdf.

Tracking down 600 generations of history. We venture out to the edge of the Ice Age to see how people lived and loved when this place was buried in glaciers.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Find the book People Before the Parkhttps://shop.glacier.org/people-before-the-park/

Special thanks this episode to Shayne Tolman, Shane Doyle, Carl Davis, Roz Gerstein, Sally Thompson, Justin Radford, Andrew Smith, Vic Baker, and Ethan, our captain from the Glacier Park Boat Company. 


Childs, Craig. Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America. New York: Pantheon Books, 2018.

Karsmizki, Kenneth W. “Glacier National Park Archeological Inventory and Assessment- 1995 Field Season Final Report Part III: Historic Land Use,” 1997.

McNeil, Paul, L. V. Hills, B. Kooyman, and Shayne M. Tolman. “Mammoth Tracks Indicate a Declining Late Pleistocene Population in Southwestern Alberta, Canada.” Quaternary Science Reviews 24, no. 10 (May 1, 2005): 1253–59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2004.08.019.

McNeil, Paul E. “Bones and Tracks at Wally’s Beach Site (DhPg-8): An Investigation of the Latest Pleistocene Mega-Fauna of Southern Alberta.” UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY DEPARTMENT OF GEOSCIENCE (January 2009). https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item?id=NR51199&op=pdf&app=Library&oclc_number=714264860.

O’Connor, Jim. “The Missoula and Bonneville Floods—A Review of Ice-Age Megafloods in the Columbia River Basin.” Earth Science Reviews, 2020. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0012825220302270.

Lewis and Clark are celebrated yet controversial. If you know what to look for, their names still echo through the park today. We examine their legacy from a variety of perspectives. 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.
  Special thanks this episode to Germaine White, Caiti Campbell, Jennifer Bottomley O'Looney, and Mary Jane Bradbury.


Jefferson, Thomas. “Jefferson’s Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803),” January 18, 1803. https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/jeffersons-secret-message-to-congress.

Lewis, Meriwether, and William Clark. The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Edited by Bernard DeVoto. The American Heritage Library. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981.

———. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Edited by Gary Moulton. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press / University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries-Electronic Text Center, 2005. http://lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu.

Neary, Dennis. A Blackfeet Encounter. Vision Maker Media, 2006. https://search.alexanderstreet.com/view/work/bibliographic_entity%7Cvideo_work%7C3233079.

Ronda, James P. Lewis and Clark among the Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984. https://lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu/item/lc.sup.ronda.01.

Salish-Pend d’Oreille Culture Committee. The Salish People and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, 2005.

Wheeler, Olin D. The Trail of Lewis and Clark, 1804-1904; a Story of the Great Exploration across the Continent in 1804-06; with a Description of the Old Trail, Based upon Actual Travel over It, and of the Changes Found a Century Later. Vol. 2. 2 vols. New York, London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000234516.

We biography Joe Kipp and join an archeological adventure in order to understand the fur trade. Then, music helps heal the traumatic legacy of history. 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.
  Special thanks this episode to Kyle Langley, Sarah Foster, Jack GladstoneRosalyn LaPier, and Anne Hyde.


Ashby, Christopher. “Blackfeet Agreement of 1895 and Glacier National Park| A Case History,” 1985. https://scholarworks.umt.edu/etd/1684.

Hyde, Anne F. Empires, Nations, and Families: a History of the North American West, 1800-1860. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011.

LaPier, Rosalyn R. "Métis Life Along Montana's Front Range." In Beyond...the Shadows of the Rockies: History of the Augusta Area, Augusta, MT: Augusta Historical Society, 2007. 

Mabie, Nora. “A Story of Genocide, Survival and Resilience: Blackfeet Nation Remembers Baker Massacre.” Great Falls Tribune, January 16, 2020. https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2020/01/16/montana-blackfeet-nation-tribe-baker-massacre-150th-anniversary/4434910002/.

Schultz, James Willard. “Joseph Kipp Born at Fort Union 1847 Died at Browning Dec. 12, 1914.” Great Falls Daily Tribune. July 5, 1914, sec. Sunday Morning.

The Great Northern Railway changed Northwest Montana forever. Who else but Americans could have built it? 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Learn more about the Empire Builder Documentary: https://greatnorthernfilmworks.com/

Special thanks this episode to Steven Sadis, Lucas Hugie, Paul Lusignan and Linda Tamura, and everyone with the First Presbyterian Church of Whitefish—but especially Bob, Paul, and Jessie. Great Northern Filmworks for permission to share excerpts from their series Empire Builder: James J. Hill and the Great Northern Railway. Filmmaker Pat Murdo and the University of Montana's Mansfield Center for permission to share clips from their documentary, From the Far East to the Old West. And to everyone at Amtrak for helping Michael fulfill a years-long dream of getting to ride a train


Ichioka, Yuki. “Japanese Immigrant Labor Contractors and the Northern Pacific and the Great Northern Railroad Companies, 1898-1907.” In American Immigration & Ethnicity, 5-Immigrant Institutions: The Organization of Immigrant Life:336, 1991. https://www.google.com/books/edition/Immigrant_Institutions/047rIZhp_r8C?hl=en&gbpv=0&kptab=overview.

Wegars, Priscilla. “Who’s Been Workin’ on the Railroad?: An Examination of the Construction, Distribution, and Ethnic Origins of Domed Rock Ovens on Railroad-Related Sites.” Historical Archaeology 25, no. No. 1 (1991): 37–65. https://www.jstor.org/stable/25616061.

White, W. Thomas. “The War of the Railroad Kings: Great Northern-Northern Pacific Rivalry in Montana, 1881-1896.” In Montana and the West: Essays in Honor of K. Ross Toole, edited by Rex C. Myers and Harry W. Fritz, 38–54. Pruett Publishing Company, 1984.

Why doesn’t anyone remember the first rangers? We trace a Buffalo Soldiers expedition across the park and ask how history becomes preserved. 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.
  Special thanks this episode to Shelton Johnson, Carolyn Finney, Anthony Wood, Daniel Brewster and the Black Park Ranger Experience, Ed Whittle, Tim Stephenson, and Frank Gerard.


Culver, G.E. "Notes on a Little Known Region in Northwestern Montana." Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters v VIII 1888-1891 (1892): 187-205.

Finney, Carolyn. Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Holterman, Jack. "George Patrick Ahern" in Who Was Who in Glacier Land. West Glacier, MT: J. Holterman, 2001. 

Wood, Anthony. Black Montana: Settler Colonialism and the Erosion of the Racial Frontier, 1877-1930. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2021.

The twin stories of homesteading and allotment explored through baking and quilting analogies. How Euro-Americans came to settle inside the Glacier National Park and inside the Flathead Reservation. 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Special thanks this episode to Flannery Freund for opening up her front (and oven) doors to us, Jim Muhn, Lois Walker, Angela Johnson and Lisa Longtime Sleeping for solving all our fabric emergencies, Julie Cajune, Joe McDonald, and the series of history books he helps edit, titled "Documents of Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai Indian History."


Harper, Andrew. “Conceiving Nature: The Creation of Montana’s Glacier National Park.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 60, no. 2 (2010): 28. https://mhs.mt.gov/pubs/Publications/summer-2010.

Shea, Patrick. “Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Reclaim Legacy of Bison Conservation.” Native News Online, February 9, 2021. https://nativenewsonline.net/sovereignty/confederated-salish-and-kootenai-tribes-reclaim-legacy-of-bison-conservation.

Smith, Anna V. “Reclaiming the National Bison Range,” January 26, 2021. https://www.hcn.org/issues/53.2/indigenous-affairs-tribes-reclaiming-the-national-bison-range.

The Indians Were Prosperous: Documents of Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai Indian History, 1900-1906. Edited by Robert Bigart and Joseph McDonald. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2021.

Us Indians Don't Want Our Reservation Opened: Documents of Salish, Pend d'Oreille, and Kootenai Indian History, 1907-1911. Edited by Robert Bigart and Joseph McDonald. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2021.

This is the history of how a corporation marketed Glacier National Park into existence. We use art to study how the Blackfeet took control of their own histories. 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

See Winold Reiss’s Art: https://iacbmuseums-viewingroom.exhibit-e.art/viewing-room

Special thanks this episode to Darnell Rides At The Door, Renee Bear Medicine, and the Museum of the Plains Indian. Ray Djuff, Scott Tanner, Cookie Zwang, John Pepion, and of course, Bill Schustrom and all his gossip.


Djuff, Ray, and Morrison, Chris. View with a Room: Glacier's Historic Hotels and Chalets. Helena, MT: Farcountry Press, 2001.

Harper, Andrew. “Conceiving Nature: The Creation of Montana’s Glacier National Park.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 60, no. 2 (2010): 28. https://mhs.mt.gov/pubs/Publications/summer-2010.

LaPier, Rosalyn. Invisible Reality, 2017.

MacCarter, Joy, ed. History of Glacier County, Montana. Glacier County Historical Society, 1984.

Young, Biloine W, and McCormack, Eileen R. The Dutiful Son: Louis W. Hill - Life in the Shadow of the Empire Builder, James J. Hill. St Paul, MN: Ramsey County Historical Society, 2010.

A young national park wages biological warfare and nature finds a way. This is a history of wolves in Glacier. 

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Sign up for a Glacier Institute course: https://glacierinstitute.org/

Special thanks this episode to Emma Hilliard and Eric Goodin, and of course Lora Funk. We couldn't have made this episode without Dr. Diane Boyd and Dr. Michael Wise. Thank you to all the wolves. And also a special shout out to the Glacier Institute, the park's official education partner.


Jones, Karen R. Wolf Mountains: A History of Wolves Along the Great Divide. University of Calgary Press, 2003. 

Lopez, Barry H. Of Wolves and Men. Scribner, 1978 

Reece, Myers. “Montana’s Diane Boyd: The Jane Goodall of Wolves.” AP NEWS, April 8, 2017. https://apnews.com/article/5abd8b3782bf4caf9c219bc179bd464e.

Robbins, Jim. “GLACIER PARK WELCOMES BACK 12 EXILED WOLVES.” The New York Times, June 29, 1986, sec. U.S. https://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/29/us/glacier-park-welcomes-back-12-exiled-wolves.html.

Teasdale, Aaron. “Life, Death, and Winter.” Sierra Club, October 1, 2015. https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/2015-6-november-december/feature/life-death-and-winter.

Wise, Michael. “Killing Montana’s Wolves: Stockgrowers, Bounty Bills, and the Uncertain Distinction between Predators and Producers.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 63, no. 4 (2013): 51–96. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24419970. 

Review: ☆☆☆☆☆

It just keeps getting better! - Georeeb,

I’ve really loved all seasons of this podcast: the stories are deep and meaningful, the narration is fun and poignant, and the people they choose to interview and places they choose to visit are so special. It gives listeners a new way to connect with the park—and with the world around them in general. I wish all parks could have a podcast like this!

Also, I’m writing this review just three episodes into season three, and I have to say, I’m already in love with this season. Keep them coming, please!!

Cover art of Headwaters Season Two: Whitebark pine painting

Season Two: Whitebark Pine

Over the course of five chapters, this season documents the generational effort to restore a species. It’s also a story about the purpose of national parks and our relationships with the places we love. Whitebark ask us, can people have a positive impact on nature?


Season Two Episodes:

Journey across the Flathead Indian Reservation to the most important tree you’ve never heard of.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.
  Special thanks this episode to Bill Hayden, ShiNaasha Pete, Tony Incashola Jr., Mike Durglo Jr., Robert Hall, Sierra Mandelko, Claire Emery, Kaylin Brennan, Debby Smith, everyone with Glacier’s native plant program, the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, and so many others.

An entire ecosystem held together by one tree.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.
  Special thanks this episode to Brad Einstein, Kyle Neimer, Lisa Bate, Kate Kendall, Vlad Kovalenko, Taza Schaming, everyone with Glacier’s native plant program, the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, and so many others.

Mountain pine beetles, an invasive fungus, and climate change—is whitebark pine doomed?

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.
  Special thanks this episode to Annie Gustafson, Rebecca Lawrence, Diana Six, Wendy Cass, Susan Freinkel, Glenn Taylor, Stacy Clark, Tara Carolin, Doug Follett, everyone with Glacier’s native plant program, the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, and so many others.

Collecting pinecones, planting seeds, and other acts of hope.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation: https://whitebarkfound.org/

Special thanks this episode to Doug Tyte, Diana Tomback, Bob Keane, Rebecca Lawrence, Summer Kemp-Jennings, Cara Nelson, Rob Sissons, Genoa Alger, Carleton Gritts, Levi Besaw, everyone with Glacier’s native plant program, the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, and so many others.

Trees, fish, and ferrets—what is our relationship with nature?

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.
  Special thanks this episode to Rosalyn LaPier, Ben Novak, Melissa Jenkins, Karl Anderson, Dawn LaFleur, everyone with Glacier’s native plant program, the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, and so many others.

Review: ☆☆☆☆☆

Excellent breadth on Whitebark Pine episodes - Becky Lomax, 11/29/2022

The Season 2 series on Whitebark Pine covered so much intricate detail…from the web between the trees, bears, and Clark’s nutcrackers to the Indigenous importance of the pines. Great in-depth coverage and broad ways of thinking about the trees and their role in our world. Thank you for such a wonderful podcast.

Cover art of Headwaters season one: Mountains filled with valley glaciers.

Season One: The Confluence

While visiting familiar places, this season tells unfamiliar stories about the park. We travel to every major region of Glacier in search of confluences: where nature and culture come together in unexpected ways.


Season One Episodes:

You should always bring food, water, and plenty of layers when you go hiking in Glacier, but sometimes you might even need… a passport? Together, Montana’s Glacier National Park and Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park: a transboundary park jointly managed by two agencies. In this episode, we’ll learn about the friendship that led to the world’s first International Peace Park. After that, two stories about how that designation has affected those that live and work here.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Featuring: Natalie Hodge, Tracey Wiese, Lisa Bate, and Justin and Kim McKeown. Voice acting from Bob Adams.

How does fire affect our relationship with the park? In this episode of Headwaters we explore our relationship to fire through different lenses. What is it like to be in a wildfire? How have native people used fire? How does fire affect plants and animals? And finally, what can we learn about our history from fire?

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Featuring: Chris Peterson, Tony Incashola Sr., Dawn LaFleur, Teagan Hayes, Mike Sanger, Sarah Peterson, and Brent Rowley.

In this episode of Headwaters we visit one of Glacier’s most popular and unique destinations: Logan Pass. First, we’ll learn about the road that gets us up here, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and about some hilarious attempts to reduce our impact at Logan Pass. We’ll learn about appreciating the natural smells of the park, and end with the search for a rare and disappearing flower.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Featuring: Bill Schustrom, Jeff Hoyt, Emlon Stanton, Will Rice, and Darren Lewis.

You’ll find some of the park’s most popular trails in Many Glacier. As many as 600 people hike the Grinnell Glacier trail each day during the summer! Why? Many people want to see Grinnell because—like the other glaciers in the park—it is retreating. But a retreat that takes place over decades can be hard to see for yourself. In our search to understand how Grinnell Glacier has changed, we meet someone who last visited the glacier over 30 years ago and hike with a researcher who discovered the power of portraits.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Featuring: Gerard Byrd, Bob Adams, Diane Sine, and Lisa McKeon

What does it mean to be wild? In this episode of Headwaters, the Flathead River uncovers our own notions of wilderness, and fossils found nowhere else on earth. We learn about a remote alpine glacier with a complicated connection to the origins of the ice age—and we climb to the top of a mountain to learn that even the park’s most isolated office space isn’t as lonely as it seems.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Featuring: Colter Pence, Amanda Wilson, Kurt Constenius, Dale Greenwalt, Christoph Irmscher, Beth Hodder, Karen Reeves, and interviews & letters from Kay Rosengren—courtesy of the Northwest Montana Forest Fire Lookout Association. Voice acting from Alex Stillson and Lora Funk.

In this episode of Headwaters, we visit St. Mary, looking for experiences that are disappearing from the world. After hearing about the legendary St. Mary winds, Michael gets up early to try to see a grizzly bear, and we learn how these animals are faring in Glacier’s ecosystem. Andrew stays up late to visit the St. Mary observatory and learn about dark skies and stargazing in Glacier.

Listen Here on Apple Podcasts.

Featuring: Debby Smith, Bob Adams, Tabitha Graves, and Lee Rademaker.

Glacier National Park, a place often celebrated for its natural scenery, offers an equally diverse and rich cultural landscape. In this episode of Headwaters, food offers an introduction to the area’s indigenous communities. We also explore the longest-running indigenous speaker series in the National Park Service.

Listen Here on Apple Pocasts.

Featuring: Darnell Rides At The Door, Vernon Finley, Mariah Gladstone, Rose Bear Don’t Walk, Tony Incashola Sr., and Kelly Lynch.

Review: ☆☆☆☆☆

Need a Season 2! - PY245,

Andrew and Michael are excellent hosts to this fascinating podcast! They really make this spectacular place that is Glacier National Park come to life, not just by exploring its ecological and historical significance, but also by highlighting the incredible stories of the people who live and work in Glacier today. This pod is smart, engaging, and quite funny. Truly a binge-worthy listen. I can’t wait for season 2!

Two park rangers talk into microphones.

The Headwaters Team

Headwaters is produced by Glacier National Park's media team and made possible by a huge number of park staff, partners, and friends. Props to Alex Stillson, Andrew Smith, Ben Cosgrove, Bill Hayden, Brent Rowley, Claire Emery, Daniel Lombardi, Darren Lewis, Eric Carlson, Frank Waln, Gaby Eseverri, Melissa Sladek, Michael Faist, Peri Sasnett, Quinn Feller, Renata Harrison, Sierra Mandelko, and so many others.
Simple Conservancy Logo illustration with a goat and mountains.

Headwaters is Supported by the Glacier National Park Conservancy

Support for Headwaters comes from the Glacier National Park Conservancy, who work to preserve and protect Glacier National Park for future generations. The Conservancy funds vital projects across the park, including those explored in this podcast series. We couldn’t do this without them, and they couldn’t do it without support from generous donors.

Last updated: August 28, 2023

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PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



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