PBS documentary to air using professor's book

November 16 2007

TERRE HAUTE -- A television documentary scheduled to air Sunday traces the changing face of the Indiana landscape from ancient times to man’s arrival, using an Indiana State University emeritus professor’s book as a guide.

At 7 p.m. Sunday, PBS member station WFYI in Indianapolis will present the first installment of a three-part documentary titled “The Natural Heritage of Indiana,” stemming from a book of the same title edited by Marion Jackson, Indiana State University emeritus professor of life sciences.

“We’ve been going all over the state shooting footage,” Jackson said about the project, which began about a year and a half ago. “This was really WFYI’s brainchild. They came to Terre Haute to talk about the possibilities and how to put it together.”

In the first installment, “The Indiana That Was,” viewers are taken from the ancient seas and coral reefs, to Ice Age glaciations while exploring the massive changes in the landscape, as well as the flora and fauna. The program will explain how human habitation has affected the landscape.

“It will give residents of Indiana a better appreciation for what their state is like, what we’ve done to it and the hope for the future,” Jackson said.

Production on the next two parts of the series is underway, and Jackson said some footage was shot this fall. All three parts of the documentary are scheduled to be released during the summer of 2008.

Jackson was the editor of “Natural Heritage of Indiana,” and pulled together 37 authors’ essays and chapters as well as more than 40 photographs for the book. The book’s second edition will be released in early 2008.

For more than 20 years, Jackson has worked closely with The Nature Conservancy, the Indiana Natural Heritage Program and the Indiana Division of Nature Preserves in inventorying the locations and habitat conditions of rare, threatened, and endangered species of plants and animals of Indiana. These collaborations have focused on natural area research and protection strategies for vulnerable habitats and species.

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Writer: Jennifer Sicking, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or jsicking@isugw.indstate.edu

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A television documentary scheduled to air Sunday traces the changing face of the Indiana landscape from ancient times to man's arrival, using an Indiana State University emeritus professor's book as a guide.

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