“AMERICAN SPRING LIVE”

For three days PBS’ Nature goes live across America with an unprecedented look at the change from winter to spring in real time. We have your preview.

For more information on “American Spring Live,” click here. 

Aired on April 29, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

> SPRING IS ONE OF NATURE'S GREATEST PERFORMANCES.

AND FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE NIGHTS THIS WEEK, THE PBS AWARD WINNING SERIES 'NATURE' WILL SPOTLIGHT THE MAGIC OF SPRING BY BROADCASTING LIVE FROM ICONIC LOCATIONS ACROSS AMERICA.

FROM THE SIERRA NEVADA TO THE EVERGLADES, FROM INNER CITY PARKS TO REMOTE WILDERNESS RESERVES, AMERICAN SPRING LIFE WILL HIGHLIGHT SOME OF THE MOST PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN NATURE'S CALENDAR.

HERE IS A PREVIEW.

THIS SPRING --

THEY'RE GOING TO COME BYMENT WE'RE GOING TO GET SOME SHOTS.

NATURE GOES LIVE.

IF YOU CAN FIND THE BIRD, YOU CAN FIND THE NEST.

AMERICAN SPRING LIVE.

IT'S A THREE-NIGHT ADVENTURE WHERE SCIENTISTS WILL MAKE REAL-TIME DISCOVERIES.

I THINK THIS HAS HATCHED TODAY.

ABOUT THE SEASON THAT SETS THE NATURAL WORLD IN MOTION.

THIS YEAR, SPRING IS COMING TO YOU LIVE ON 'NATURE.'

AND JOINING US NOW TO TELL US MORE ABOUT 'AMERICAN SPRING LIVE' IS THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF 'NATURE' FRED KAUFMAN.

FRED, WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM.

SO, FRED, SPRING IS A BEAUTIFUL SEASON, AND THE WEATHER IS USUALLY NICE.

NOT ALWAYS.

BUT ASIDE FROM THAT, WHY SPRING?

WELL, SPRING IS REALLY -- IT'S NATURE'S GREATEST OUTDOOR PARTY.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS IN SPRING.

EVERYBODY COMES OUT.

THERE IS REAL EXCITEMENT.

THE LONGER DAYS, THE WARMING TEMPERATURES, THE MELTING SNOW TRIGGERS A LOT OF ACTIVITY, A LOT OF FOOD.

ANIMALS KNOW THAT.

SO YOU HAVE BIRD MIGRATIONS.

THE MOST EXCITING THING IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM, BIRTHS.

ALL THE BIRTHS ARE TRIGGERED.

IN SPRING, BECAUSE THE COLD WEATHER IS OVER AND THERE IS PLENTY OF FOOD FOR ANIMALS TO ACCESS EASILY, SO THERE ARE A LOT OF BIRTHS.

THERE IS POLLINATION.

THERE IS A LOT GOING ON IN THE NATURAL -- LISTEN, WE LOVE SPRING.

HOW MUCH DO WE LOOK FORWARD TO SPRING?

SO YOU CAN IMAGINE IN NATURE HOW MUCH THE ANIMALS REALLY DO LOOK FORWARD TO IT.

AND WHY 'LIVE'?

WHY LIVE?

AN INTERESTING QUESTION.

IT TAKES US TWO YEARS TO MAKE A FILM.

BECAUSE NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN YOU THINK IT WILL.

AND SO THIS IS A VERY DIFFERENT MUSCLE FOR ALL OF US.

BUT THERE IS AN EXCITEMENT WITH 'LIVE.'

HOPEFULLY WE'LL HAVE A BIGGER PAYOFF.

BUT THERE IS A SPONTANEITY.

IT'S UNPREDICTABLE.

AND WE'VE CREATED THESE SEQUENCES WHERE GOING TO THESE PLACES WHERE IT'S SOMEWHAT PREDICTABLE, OR AT THE VERY LEAST THERE IS A PROCESS TO FINDING OUT THINGS THAT I THINK WILL BE EXCITING.

FOR EXAMPLE, WE'RE GOING TO BE LIVE AT BRACKEN CAVE IN TEXAS WHERE THERE ARE MILLIONS OF BATS.

SO WE KNOW GOING INTO THIS CAVE, WHICH BY THE WAY WE'RE GETTING EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO BECAUSE WE'RE 'NATURE' AND PBS AND WELL TRUSTED.

SO WHEN WE GO IN WITH OUR CAMERA PEOPLE, WE'RE GOING TO SEE MILLIONS OF ROOSTING BATS ON THE WALLS.

NOW WE DON'T KNOW IF WE'LL GET THEM IN A LITTLE 8:00 WINDOW, BUT THE VERY NATURE OF GOING INTO A CAVE WITH MILLIONS OF BATS LIVE IS PRETTY EXCITING.

WHERE ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO GO?

WE'RE GOING TO BE AT A FARM IN MAINE WHERE HE WE HOPE TO GET BIRTHING LAMBS.

AGAIN, WE DON'T KNOW IF IT WILL HAPPEN.

SO WE'VE ALREADY PUT OUR CAMERA PEOPLE IN POSITION.

AND WE HAVE THREE LAMB BIRTHS ALREADY IN THE CAN.

SO CROSSING OUR FINGERS THAT WE'LL GET ONE LIVE, BUT IF NOT WE'LL CERTAINLY HAVE A LAMB BIRTH WITHIN 48 HOURS.

WE'RE GOING TO BE IN THE EVERGLADES LOOKING AT ALLIGATORS AND NESTING BIRDS.

WE'RE GOING TO BE LIVE ON THE EASTERN SHORE OF VIRGINIA WITH, AGAIN, A MIGRATING BIRDS AS WELL.

.

YOU'RE GOING SEE SOME CUBS BIRTHED?

WE'RE NOT GOING TO SEE CUB BIRTHS, BUT CUBS COME OUT OF HIBERNATION.

WE'VE ALREADY FILMED SCIENTISTS MEASURING THE CUBS, EXAMINING THEM WHILE THE MOTHER WAS SEDATED.

WE'VE PUT THEM BACK.

WE'RE GOING TO GO LIVE TO THE SAME LOCATION AND HOPEFULLY FIND THEM.

WE'VE TAGGED THEM.

AND SO WE'RE TRACKING THEM.

AND HOPEFULLY WE'LL FIND THEM LIVE.

YOU SAID WITH THIS THREE-PART SERIES, YOU HOPE TO TURN VIEWERS INTO DOERS.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT?

WELL, A BIG PART OF WHAT WE'RE DOING IS ENCOURAGING CITIZEN SCIENCE, WHICH I'M SURE IS A BRAND-NEW TERM TO A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE.

BUT WE GOT A LOT OF FUNDING.

THIS IS NOT AN INEXPENSIVE ENDEAVOR.

LIVE TELEVISION COSTS A LOT OF MONEY.

AND WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WE WANT TO PROMOTE THE IDEA TO VIEWERS THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE A SCIENTIST TO CONTRIBUTE TO SCIENCE.

AND WE HAVE A NUMBER OF PROJECTS THAT WE'RE GOING TO PROMOTE ON THIS SHOW AND A WEBSITE WHERE YOU CAN GO OUTSIDE ONCE A WEEK, A COUPLE OF TIMES A WEEK FOR NO MORE THAN 10 OR 15 MINUTES AND MAKE OBSERVATIONS AND ENTER DATA ON YOUR iPHONE OR LAPTOP REGARDING HOW MANY BEES YOU SEE ON A FLOWER, REGARDING HOW MANY BIRDS YOU SEE COME IN.

I MEAN, ALL THESE VERY EASY OBSERVATIONS YOU MAKE WHICH ARE HELPING SCIENTISTS GET A BIGGER AND MORE COMPLETE PICTURE OF WHAT'S GOING ON.

ALREADY FROM CITIZEN SCIENTISTS OVER THE YEARS WE'VE DISCOVERED DECLINING BIRD POPULATIONS.

AND THIS ACTUALLY INFLUENCES LEGISLATURE.

SO ARMED WITH SOME REALLY COMPLETE DATA, WE COULD MAKE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE ENVIRONMENT.

THAT'S ONE THING YOU HOPE TO CAPTURE SOME OF THE CHANGES, THE CLIMATE CHANGE IS BRINGING ON NATURE?

YEAH, YOU KNOW, AGAIN, SPRING TRIGGERS A MULTITUDE OF EVENTS.

AND ALL THESE EVENTS FOR THE ANIMALS ARE TIMED.

SO WHEN BIRDS MIGRATE BACK UP TO THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES, THERE ARE FOOD SOURCES FOR THEM.

NOW BECAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, IF THE ATMOSPHERE IS WARMER, EARLIER, THE FOOD THAT THEY WOULD EAT CAN COME OUT EARLIER, AND BY THE TIME THE MIGRATING BIRDS SHOW UP, THE FOOD IS NO LONGER THERE.

SO THAT'S HOW CLIMATE CHANGE CAN IMPACT THIS WEB OF LIFE AND THE TIMING OF WHEN ANIMALS SHOW UP TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A FOOD SOURCE.

ABOUT 15 SECONDS WE HAVE LEFT.

WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST INTERESTING ABOUT THIS?

WELL, IT'S THE HEART-STOPPING KIND OF OH MY GOD, ONE MINUTE IT'S LIKE THIS IS GREAT, WE'RE ALL SET.

AND AT SOME POINT THERE IS AN EMAIL THAT SAYS WE CAN'T DO THIS, THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, SO AND SO CAN'T MAKE IT, AND YOU GO INTO SHEER PANIC.

I DON'T KNOW IF THAT'S GOOD OR BAD, BUT WE CERTAINLY FEEL ALIVE ABOUT IT.

ALL RIGHT.

I CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH THOSE PROGRAMS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AGAIN, FRED.

'NATURE'S' THREE-NIGHT PRESENT NATION WILL AIR APRIL 29th TO MAY 1.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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