A three-part series on North Carolina state parks, produced by UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication students, will air Dec. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m. on UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Now.”
The reports look at environmental issues facing Gorges State Park in the mountains of Transylvania County, Eno River State Park in Orange and Durham counties, and Fort Macon State Park on Bogue Banks near Morehead City.
The series was written and produced by students in the school’s Medical and Science Journalism Program as part of professor Tom Linden's “Science Documentary Television” course.
“This series focuses on three of our state’s natural and historical treasures,” said Linden, who narrated the reports and served as executive producer. UNC-TV videographers Mike Oniffrey and Pete Bell shot the series, along with additional videography supplied by the students and Patrick McMillan, a Clemson University biology professor.
"The learning experience between state parks, UNC, Dr. Linden and his students demonstrates the tremendous opportunities made possible through partnerships," said Lewis Ledford, state parks director. "We greatly appreciate the commitment and hard work of the students and the public outreach and education benefits created through this partnership and we look forward to similar cooperative projects in the future."
Ledford and Jonathan Howes, former secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources and former chair of the N.C. Parks and Recreation Authority, assisted the class with the project.
The first part of the series examines how a temperate rain forest in Gorges State Park supports one of the most diverse ecosystems in the eastern United States. The second report tells the story of an exotic plant from Asia that threatens to upset the natural ecosystem in the Eno River. The final report traces the long battle to save Fort Macon from the ocean's relentless onslaught.
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