Nature: American Spring LIVE

Contributors Announcement

Air date: 04/29/2019

Nature: American Spring LIVE Announces Lineup of Contributors Showcasing the Science of Spring

Juju Chang hosts the three-day, multi-platform event from the Sierra Nevadas with science correspondents Thor Hanson and Phil Torres Premieres live on April 29, 30 and May 1 on PBS and Facebook


NEW YORK; April 17, 2019 – 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 each night, with correspondents Thor Hanson and Phil Torres explaining the science behind the changing seasons. Additional expert contributors from across the nation will join the broadcast to showcase various springtime phenomena in ecosystems ranging from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the Everglades, from inner-city parks to remote wilderness preserves.


Special contributors include:


Nanne Kennedy – sheep farmer, Meadowcroft Farm

Location: Washington, Maine

Nanne Kennedy will showcase the birth of one of her lambs during Episode 1 “Birth and Rebirth” (April 29). Kennedy raises more than 200 sheep for their wool and many are expecting babies this spring.


Imogene Cancellare – biologist

Location: Sierra Nevadas

Imogene Cancellare’s background is in landscape and conservation genetics, population ecology and wildlife management. She will be biking down the Sierra Mountains from altitude to baseline to show the emergence of spring, from snow-peaked mountaintops to newly blooming meadows, creeks and lowlands.


Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant – large carnivore biologist

Location: Western Maryland

Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant will show how bears in the Allegheny Mountains of Western Maryland emerge from hibernation. She specializes in the ecological and social drivers of human-carnivore conflict, and the influence of human activity on suitable carnivore habitats.


Dr. Harold Greeney – biologist

Location: Mt. Lemmon, Arizona

Dr. Harold Greeney is a researcher in Arizona who will journey to find some of the tiniest and best-hidden nests on the planet. Greeney has researched and observed hundreds of hummingbird nests across the country.


Mark Emery – wildlife cinematographer

Location: Florida Everglades

Mark Emery is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer. He will demonstrate how he documents the connection between nesting birds and alligators in the Everglades.


Dr. Winifred Frick – biologist, UC Santa Cruz

Location: Bracken Cave, Texas

As the Chief Scientist at Bat Conservation International, Dr. Winifred Frick will use her bat biology expertise to explain the migration patterns of bats in Texas. Pregnant free-tailed bats return to Bracken Cave to raise their young; the abundance of insects in the Texas skies are a plentiful food source.


Michael Male – wildlife cinematographer

Location: Locustville, Virginia

In Episode 2 “Migration” (April 30), Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Male will demonstrate how to use a floating blind camera to capture incredible and intimate shots of birds on the water.


Emily Mistick – biologist, University of British Columbia

Location: Sierra Nevadas

Emily Mistick’s research focuses on the relationship between sound production and flight performance in hummingbirds. She will take a paragliding trip over the Sierras to simulate what migrating birds experience up in the atmosphere.


Dr. Pete Marra – Director, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Location: Mad Island Marsh Preserve, Texas

Dr. Pete Marra’s research in avian conservation science encompasses the ecology of migratory birds, urban ecosystem ecology and disease ecology. He will be catching, tagging, and releasing songbirds to show their migratory patterns from the Caribbean to Texas.


Dr. Andrew Farnsworth – migratory bird researcher, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Location: Roma, Texas

Dr. Andrew Farnsworth is a Research Associate in the Information Science Program at Cornell Lab of Ornithology. He will demonstrate his major discoveries on nighttime bird migration and birdsongs that have been found through weather radar and microphones.


Thomas Gable – biologist, Voyageurs Wolf Project

Location: Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

A Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota, Thomas Gable’s work on the Voyageurs Wolf Project focuses on wolf-moose-deer-beaver interactions in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota. During the third episode he will be trying to track down a wolf pack and their pups that have taken residence in Voyageurs National Park.


Dr. Akito Kawahara – entomologist, Florida Museum of Natural History and University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Dr. Akito Kawahara’s research investigates the evolution and diversity of invertebrates, particularly butterflies and moths. During Episode 3 “Connections,” journey into the Ordway-Swisher Reserve in Gainesville, Florida as he documents moth diversity and tests the acoustic abilities of bats. Moth sounds are used to combat bats, their biggest predators.


Marc Johnson – beekeeper

Location: San Francisco, California

As a member of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association, Marc Johnson has witnessed firsthand the growing trend of urban beekeeping across the nation to help mitigate colony collapse disorder. He will demonstrate how to tackle and capture an urban swarm – a natural event bees go through when a colony needs to downsize.


Filipe DeAndrade – wildlife photographer

Location: Coastal Marin County, California

Filipe DeAndrade’s love for wildlife has taken him all across the world to capture incredible animal behavior. During Episode 3 “Connections,” he will show how bobcats in California hunt for mice and other small prey.


Learn more about Nature: American Spring LIVE:;; @PBSNature;;; #AmericanSpringLivePBS




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.




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