Mike Kiniry

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 

He became the first producer of Gulf Coast Live when the show launched in 2004, and also worked as the host of All Things Considered from 2004 to 2006, and the host of Morning Edition from 2006 to 2011. He then left public radio to work as PR Director for the Alliance for the Arts for five years, and was then Principled Communicator at the election integrity company Free & Fair for a year before returning to WGCU in October, 2017.

In the past Mike has been a bartender and cook at Liquid Café in downtown Fort Myers, a golf club fixer/seller at the Broken Niblick Golf Shop in Fort Myers, and a bookseller at Ives Book Shop in Fort Myers. He lives near downtown Fort Myers with his daughter, and their dog and two cats.

The 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially began on Saturday, June 1st. And, according to a new study Floridians are more worried about hurricanes this year, likely because four major storms have hit the state in the past three years.

While nesting numbers of endangered green sea turtles in Florida can vary from year to year, the broader trend over the past few decades shows a marked increase in the animal’s population.  

Once it’s completed, the massive Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage, or C-43 reservoir, near Alva will hold about 55 billion gallons of water captured from the river and local runoff. The idea is to both reduce the amount of water released from Lake Okeechobee that makes it to the estuary during the wet season and to store water to be released during dry season to help maintain ideal salinity in the estuary. But, there is no formal plan for a water quality element to ensure the water it holds is clean enough to be released.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder marked by systems such as tremors, stiffness and slow muscle movement. According to parkinsons.org, 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with the neurological disorder each year. In this encore episode, we explore the world of Parkinson's treatment with a panel of guests: Dr. Ramon A. Gil is a neurologist at the Parkinson’s Treatment Center of Southwest Florida; Michael and Gretchen Church are a couple who both have Parkinson’s; Mary Spremulli is a medical speech-language pathologist from Voice Aerobics Speech Language Therapy; Michelle Martin is the coordinator of the Hope Parkinson Program; and Carissa Campanella is a care advisor from the Neurochallenge Foundation.

A researcher at Mote Marine Laboratory is growing a “sea-green delicacy” called sea purslane in a novel aquaponic system that's also raising red fish. Dr. Kevan Main, a senior scientist at the laboratory in Sarasota, also developed a “Sea Purslane Cookbook” to help locals enjoy the generally overlooked coastal vegetable. She joins us to tell us more about sea purslane, and discuss the details of her aquaponic system and cookbook.

We're listening back to a conversation we had last month to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in three women, and one in six men, have experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetime in America. We met Wendy J. Silva, she's Sexual Assault Program Manager at the Punta Gorda-based Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies Inc. (C.A.R.E.). We also met Lesley Barton, who shared her experience as a sexual assault survivor and advocate.

Florida Gulf Coast University is offering a free STEM Summer Camp for High School Girls. Participating 9-12th grade girls will learn about water quality issues facing Southwest Florida, and issues around climate change. Girls will be mentored in the latest climate change research and how it is related to south Florida. The camp includes boat trips and hands on lessons in field methodologies. They will collect all of their own samples and engage in authentic scientific research, will be mentored in laboratory practices and they will use state-of-the-art laboratory instruments in their analyses. We chat with FGCU associate professor of Marine Science and Geology, Dr. Joanne Muller, to learn more.

Governor Ron DeSantis is directing Florida’s Secretary of State, Laurel Lee, to initiate a review of elections systems security throughout the state. This comes after his recent announcement that Russian Hackers breached the voter information systems in two Florida counties in the lead up to the 2016 election.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently announced that Russian hackers breached the election systems in two Florida counties leading up to the 2016 election. He says no votes were changed, and that the systems accessed were completely separate from voting and tabulation machines. But, he also said he had to sign a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI to not reveal which counties had been hacked.

The 2018 wading bird nesting season was one of the largest on record, that’s according to the annual South Florida Wading Bird Report released last week by the South Florida Water Management District, and prepared along with Audubon Florida.


The Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary’s Director Emeritus, Ed Carlson, began his career at the sanctuary the day after he graduated high school. Since then, he served as the sanctuary’s director from 1983 to 2012. Carlson has seen the sanctuary transform over 50 years of working there. He joins us in studio to reflect on the ways the sanctuary has changed since his time starting there.

The average pay for Florida teachers ranks 46th in the country among the states. That’s according the National Education Association’s annual ranking. And, according to ZipRecruiter, school counselor’s pay in Florida ranks 49th in the nation. Statistics like this make it easy to see why many teachers are challenged to make ends meet. Enter the 'side hustle' -- a way to make money on the side using the expertise and skills a school counselor or educator already has in abundance. For teachers eyeing the long hot summer ahead wondering what to do with that time, there’s now a guidebook called “School Counselor Side Hustle” that aims to make that time off profitable. We're joined by its author, Florida Gulf Coast University graduate professor, Dr. Russell A. Sabella.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation last Friday that establishes three regional task forces to study what’s called the “Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance Programs” within the Florida Department of Transportation. The legislation essentially looks to build three new toll highways in Florida.

If you spent any time outside at all last week you very likely ran into a love bug or two. And, if you spent any time driving during the morning or evening hours, especially inland, the front of your car probably ran into more than a few. While the abundant season seems to have diminished over the past day or two, at least here in south Lee County, we thought we’d bring in an entomologist to find out more about these strange, frisky, intermittent flying pests. I’m joined in studio by Dr. Joyce Fassbender, she’s an instructor on the Department of Biological Sciences here at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Lionfish were first reported off Florida’s Atlantic Coast back in 1985. And since the mid 2000s, the number being reported has increased rapidly, and they're now being spotted all the way to the northern Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola. Lionfish are an invasive species that has a potential negative impact on native species and habitat. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been encouraging people to remove as many lionfish from Florida waters as possible to help limit those negative impacts.