Age of Nature Screening

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October 13, 2020
7:00pm Eastern Time
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Join WSKG and Science Pub as we celebrate the upcoming three-part series The Age of Nature with a panel discussion focused on nature and conservation. Our panel will take a look at nature and the outdoors while examining how we balance human growth and conservation.

Each episode will focus on three stories that take us beyond the traditional natural history series to answer three questions:

What have our past mistakes taught us about nature? How is our understanding of nature changing the way we live? As the challenges we face mount, where are we heading next?

The Age of Nature brings together wildlife filmmaking, science, anthropology, and history to shed light on perhaps the biggest story of our time.

Video Descriptions

Welcome Graphic

Welcome Graphic


Explore the Critical Zone

The Critical Zone supports terrestrial life on Earth. It is the region above and below the Earth surface, extending from the tops of the trees down through the subsurface to the bottom of the groundwater. Critical Zone scientists work to discover how this living skin is structured, evolves, and provides essential functions that sustain life. The national Critical Zone Observatory Network is made up of nine environmental observatories each located in a different climatic and geologic setting. CZO scientists observe and measure a set of common parameters at each site. Building a common set of measurements across a diverse range of environmental conditions allows scientists to examine the underlying factors responsible for ecosystem growth and resilience. Through interdisciplinary investigation, CZ scientists help us understand the essential functions that sustain life on Earth. This project is in partnership with the Paleontological Research Institution. Links: National Critical Zone Observatories: Paleontological Research Institution: NSF: Credits: Kamini Singha - Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory and Colorado School of Mines Timothy White - Critical Zone National Office Coordinator, Penn State University Louis Derry - Director Critical Zone National Office, Cornell University Justin Richardson - Critical Zone National Office Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cornell University Susan Brantley - Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory, Penn State University Alexandra Moore - Critical Zone National Office Education & Outreach Consultant, Paleontological Research Institution Rob Ross - Project Advisor, Critical Zone National Office Education & Outreach, Paleontological Research Institution Nancy Coddington - Executive Producer, Narrator, WSKG Director of Science Content Shane Johnson - Assistant Producer WSKG Additional footage provided by: Ryan Vachon, UC MERCED, Calhoun Critical Zone Observatory, Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory, Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory, PEXELSVideos, Pond5, Pixabay, Mário J.R.,,,, and Phil Fried on This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1360760. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

The Age of Nature - Awakening - Preview

Our awareness of Nature is growing. As we discover its role in our modern world and realize its true value, action is being taken to protest and restore it. This story is told by inspiring contributors who reveal the awakening of a new era.

The Age of Nature - Changing - Preview

Our world is governed by the rules of Nature, and we are seeing it unleash its power. As global warming accelerates, it's clear that restoring Nature is our only defense against an uncertain future. Are we ready to change our destiny?

90 minutes



  • Panelist Avatar
    Elaine Spacher


    Elaine has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from SUNY Brockport (Brockport, NY) and a Master’s degree in Biology from The College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA). Elaine’s studies in college focused on ecology, animal behavior and ornithology, and more specifically, cavity and colonial nesting bird species. Elaine has been interested in environmental issues for over 3 decades. She has worked at several nature centers and museums including Genesee Country Museum’s Nature Center in Mumford, NY and the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Elaine has been on the Board at Spencer Crest Nature Center in Corning, NY and is currently a Board member of the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce. Elaine has been the Executive Director at Tanglewood Nature Center & Museum in Elmira for the past 17 years.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Ben Mertus


    Ben Mertus is a PhD student in the anthropology department at The Ohio State University. His research seeks to understand pathways of responsible human co-existence with nonhuman beings in this new epoch that many are calling "the Anthropocene". He is particularly interested in ecotourism as a driver of environmental sustainability and cultural continuation in postcolonial First Nations communities in Canada.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Christopher Audette


    Waterman Center Executive Director, Christopher (Endicott, NY), grew up in Vermont where he was seldom NOT waist-deep in muck, lake, or stream. He studied aquatic ecology at Paul Smith’s College, served in South-Eastern Africa with the U.S. Peace Corps, and loves sharing his knowledge and experience with the Waterman community.

  • Panelist Avatar
    Jeff Smith


    eff Smith (Vestal, NY) has had a lifelong interest in nature and ecology which he’s been able to focus on more intently since retiring from IBM. Recently that has involved serving as a naturalist and board member for the Waterman Center, working on cataloguing and mapping plants and various invasive species on Waterman properties. He’s interested in promoting public awareness of nature through photography and the exploration of the Southern Tier’s unique local parks and preserves.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.