Nature: American Spring LIVE

Air date: 04/29/2019

Get a Front Row Seat to the Change of Seasons in Real Time with Nature: American Spring LIVE

Juju Chang hosts the three-day, multi-platform event live from the Sierra Nevadas on April 29, 30 and May 1 on PBS and Facebook

Spring is one of nature’s greatest performances – a time of rebirth, renewed energy and dramatic transformations. For three consecutive nights, Monday, April 29 – Wednesday, May 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) and Facebook, Nature: American Spring LIVE presents the change from winter to spring in real time from iconic locations across America.

Acclaimed news anchor Juju Chang will host the multi-platform event with on-camera experts, including biologist Thor Hanson and entomologist Phil Torres, showing springtime phenomena in ecosystems ranging from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Everglades, from inner-city parks to remote wilderness preserves. The series will include a mix of live and pre-taped footage highlighting some of the most pivotal events in nature’s calendar.

“Nature throws a party every year, and it’s called spring. It is the most active time in the natural world for plants and animals, from birth and rebirth to migrations to pollination,” said Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman. “In addition to witnessing incredible wonders, the goal of Nature: American Spring LIVE is to inspire people to go outside and get involved with science. Everyone can play a part in our natural world.”

A diverse group of researchers and citizen scientists will investigate how a wide range of organisms respond to the change of seasons. They will share their insights into the natural world, reveal new technologies that make their discoveries possible and encourage audiences to join the adventure of science.

Each episode is built around a central theme chosen to reveal how the new season triggers extraordinary biological change. Live locations include California’s Sequoia National Park and Coastal Marin County; Gainesville, Florida, and the Everglades; the Eastern shore of Virginia; a sheep farm in Maine; a black bear den in rural Western Maryland; Mt. Lemmon, Arizona; and Texas’ Bracken Cave and Gulf Coast.


Episode 1: “Birth and Rebirth” premieres Monday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) and

Tracing the green wave that sweeps across the continent in spring, see how the rising temperatures and longer days spur plants to awaken and flower, and animals to seek out newly abundant resources for their new families. See bears emerge from hibernation in Maryland and witness the connection that nesting birds have with alligators in the Everglades. Go nest hunting in Arizona and learn how the California wildlands are being reborn after a year of devastating wildfires. Discover how animals have incorporated seasonal change into their life cycles and successful reproductive strategies – all demonstrated by the birth of a lamb in Maine.


Episode 2: “Migration” premieres Tuesday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) and

Breeding and the greening of the landscape are tied to another major spectacle of spring: the mass movements of animals as they take advantage of spring’s bounty. Meet the scientists who track the journeys of animals such as butterflies, birds, bison and bats over vast distances, from winter refuge to spring nesting grounds. As they attempt to uncover the precise triggers and timing of migration and its impact on other animal species, the scientists grapple with how these patterns and behaviors may shift due to climate change.


Episode 3: “Connections” premieres Wednesday, May 1 at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings) and

Nature’s perfect partnerships, precisely synchronized, have evolved over thousands of years. Learn how plants and animals depend on each other to survive. See first-hand how climate change can break those connections, altering the timing of weather and plant growth, and disrupting the delicate relationships between plants and pollinators such as moths, bees and butterflies. Watch a family of wolf cubs explore their den in Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park and learn about their vital connection with the park’s ecosystem. Plus, see how bobcats in California hunt for mice and other small prey.


To encourage citizen science participation during the live event and beyond, Nature: American Spring LIVE has partnered with the Bird Cams Lab and Celebrate Urban Birds projects (Cornell Lab of Ornithology), The Great Sunflower Project (San Francisco State University), The Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (University of Minnesota Monarch Lab), Track-a-Lilac with Nature’s Notebook (USA National Phenology Network), SciStarter (Arizona State University), Next Avenue (Twin Cities PBS), and the National Park Service.

WNET Community Engagement will work with PBS stations in communities across the country in partnership with local science and community-based organizations to encourage diverse audiences to participate in citizen science through a series of training workshops, family events and more.

A robust collection of classroom resources produced by WNET Kids’ Media and Education will be hosted on PBS LearningMedia with activities to help teachers get students involved in hands-on science research. Additionally, WNET’s Emmy Award-winning series Cyberchase will focus on citizen science in a new primetime special, Space Waste Odyssey, premiering Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream.

Nature: American Spring LIVE is the finale of Nature’s 37th season on PBS. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer, Bill Murphy is Series Producer and Janet Hess is Series Editor. American Spring LIVE is a production of Berman Productions, Inc. and THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET. Al Berman is Executive Producer and Ann Johnson Prum is Senior Producer.

Major support for Nature: American Spring LIVE was provided by the National Science Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation.

Additional financial support was provided by the Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Anderson Family Fund, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sandra Atlas Bass, Doris R. and Robert J. Thomas, Charles Rosenblum, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.


Websites:,, @PBSNature,,, #AmericanSpringLivePBS



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Profile of a Postman butterfly drinking from a flower. Deerfield, MA. Credit: Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Birdwing butterflies mating. Deerfield, MA. Credit: Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Hummingbird nest with eggs. Credit: Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Pikas are poor thermal regulators and highly sensitive to changes in temperature. They are considered the “canary in the coal mine” of climate change. Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Credit: Joseph Pontecorvo/ © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Bee on sunflower. Credit: Whitney Johnson / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Honeybee and lavender. Credit: Whitney Johnson / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Beekeeper at work. Milbridge, ME. Credit: Whitney Johnson / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

A few of the lambs from Nanne Kennedy's farm in Maine. Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Crew member Michael Male planning the logistics for one of the live shoots. Credit: Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

An instructor speaks with future citizen scientists at the World Beat Center in San Diego. Credit: Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, seen here holding a small bear cub in Maryland, is a large carnivore ecologist who has been tracking a family of bear’s movement before and after hibernation. Her team is working to better understand the travel patterns of this bear family, and learn more about the health of their ecosystem. American Spring LIVE will check in with her during the broadcast to see how the cubs are doing. Credit: Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

A camera crew member gets in close to witness the miracle of life begin at Nanne Kennedy’s wool farm in Maine. Tune in Monday, April 29 at 8/7c to see if another birth is caught live. Ann Johnson Prum / © THIRTEEN Productions LLC

Juju Chang, host of Nature: American Spring LIVE

Phil Torres, field biologist for Nature: American Spring LIVE

Thor Hanson, science correspondent for Nature: American Spring LIVE