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.

New research just getting underway at Florida Gulf Coast University is exploring a novel approach to possibly someday controlling blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria. While commonly referred to as an algae, cyanobacteria is actually a bacteria. And, like all bacteria, it has viruses that live inside of it, called phages. Some of them will cause it to flourish, some of them will cause it to die.

The documentary Toxic Puzzle tells the story of an ethnobotanist named Paul Cox who has spent years trying to track down links between toxins produced by blue-green algae and neurodegenerative disorders like ALS and Alzheimer’s.

New research just getting underway at Florida Gulf Coast University is exploring a novel approach to possibly someday controlling blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria.

A recent study by scientists with the University of Florida and the U.S. Geological Survey found that Burmese pythons may be foraging on wading bird nesting rookeries in the Florida Everglades. The research is published in PLOS One. We're joined by the study’s lead author, Sophie Orzechowski, who performed this research as part of her recently completed master’s degree in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida.

Man’s best friend has served people for years with companionship, protection and love. Dogs have the intellectual capacity to obey commands, and trainers have primed their intelligent minds to help people who need assistance to navigate the world around them. We're listening back to a show we did in April with Jennifer Bryan, she is director of philanthropy at Southeastern Guide Dogs, and Roy Kennedy, who raises puppies for the organization.

Today marks the beginning of a new fiscal year in Florida government with a nearly $91 billion dollar budget. Today also marks the day when a number of new laws take effect that were passed by elected officials in this year’s annual legislative session. 

Alzheimer’s disease is named after a doctor, who in 1906 noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of a mental illness that included symptoms like memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps which we now call amyloid plaques, and tangled bundles of fibers now called tau tangles. These plaques and tangles are still considered the main features of Alzheimer’s disease, and most research into its possible causes focus on them. But, there is a new branch of Alzheimer’s research that’s exploring whether there might be an infectious disease link to AD.

Today, in lieu of Gulf Coast Live, we’re airing an episode of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories. It’s an exploration of the way music connects to our memories. We challenge our guests to pick three songs from their lives, which we use as a means of getting to know them better. This episode, which was originally released in June of last year, is with fifth generation Southwest Floridian Jeff McCullers.

While red tide algal blooms have occurred off the coast of western Florida since before the state was heavily developed – the earliest accounts of its presence date back to the 1880s, and J.N. Ding Darling himself wrote about a massive red tide bloom in the 1940s – current residents of this part of the state are unfortunately well-aware of just how harmful a red tide bloom can be.

Florida has long ranked at or near the bottom when it comes to spending for state-managed mental health programs. And while the lack of available mental health services, for people of all ages, is a statewide problem, it’s particularly acute here in Southwest Florida. In Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties there is roughly one mental health provider per 1000 residents -- that’s compared to the state average of about one in 670 people.

Audubon’s Corkscrew Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary has a new Sanctuary Director at the helm. Dr. Lisa Korte comes to Corkscrew after spending years working in the rainforests of Central and West Africa. We get to know her, and her vision for the future of the 65 year old sanctuary.

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 State University System of Florida Board of Governors has selected the University of Florida to lead a statewide consortium studying health outcomes related to medical marijuana. UF will lead the Consortium for Medical Marijuana Clinical Outcomes Research, which will be composed of public and private universities engaged in research on clinical outcomes of medical marijuana.

Florida Gulf Coast University is taking the lead among Florida’s public universities when it comes to the broader world of medical cannabis. It’s getting ready to offer its new Cannabis Education Certificate Program for the second time next month, starting on August 7th.

Valerie’s House, which offers support services focused on children who have experienced loss, operates three homes in southwest Florida. They recently received a $100,000 grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation that’s going to help them expand their services in Collier County. Valerie’s House gives children a home-like environment to identify, express and process their grief through art, music and other services, all overseen by licensed clinical social workers.