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.

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.

Governor Ron DeSantis recently announced the formation of a Blue-Green Algae Task Force that’s charged with reducing adverse impacts of the toxic algae blooms over the next five years. The task force is comprised of five researchers: Dr. Wendy Graham from the University of Florida, Dr. Evelyn Gaiser from Florida International University, Dr. James Sullivan from Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Valerie Paul from the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, and Florida Gulf Coast University Professor of Marine Science, Dr. Mike Parsons, who joins us to give us sense of what the task force will be doing in the coming years.

The Florida Legislature passed a bill during the 2019 session that will create an industrial hemp industry in the state. This follows changes in federal law that legalized hemp as an agricultural product, which can be used to create a variety of products, and that some see as a possible new cash crop for Florida farmers to grow.

After Hurricane Irma swept through Southwest Florida during the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the devastation it left in its wake was a wake up call to many residents, who might have become complacent during the relative calm of the previous decade or so. But, with Irma still fresh in many people's minds, we're reminding people that being prepared includes more than just having water and food stored away. We’re now going to broaden our discussion to see what people should be doing with their yards, and the plants, and trees, they contain. We're joined in studio by Ian Orlikoff, he is an arborist, and owner of Signature Tree Care in Naples.

With the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season fast approaching it’s time for people to start preparing. While we had a mild season here in southwest Florida last year, the year before Hurricane Irma reminded southwest Floridians the need to properly prepare is very real. We're joined in studio by Jeff Huffman, Director of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

The persistent and growing problem of plastics in our environment is becoming increasingly clear. We're sitting down with a local who man who has spent his career in the world of plastics and packaging to get his insights into where we are, and where the industry is heading. Warren Schirado is a Packaging Development and Design Engineer who has spent his life researching plastics, and the never ending efforts to use less of them, or discover more environmentally friendly ways to make them.

Last September, the Director of the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Port Aransas, Texas was walking along the beach when he came across a disturbing find -- millions of tiny, plastic pellets had washed ashore -- he’d stumbled across an apparent nurdle spill. Nurdles are tiny, plastic pellets that are used as the base material for the manufacture of other plastic products.