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2009 Archived Episodes

Terra Bytes - Montana Scientists

The first film in this episode of terra, entitled 'Saving the Grizzly: One Hair at a Time,' follows Kate Kendall's groundbreaking DNA-based grizzly bear population study in Glacier National Park. Next in 'Tree Rings: Counting the Years of Global Warming', Liz Smith and Lisa Graumlich show us how ancient tree rings can be used to track global climate change. Finally, Alison Backus leads us on a tour with the geothermal researchers of Yellowstone National Park in 'Virus Hunting in Yellowstone'.

On The Wing

Hear the story of Portland, Oregon's Chapman Swifts. Each fall these birds roost in the chimney of a Portland elementary school and put on an amazing nightly aerial display to the delight of thousands of observers.


Sealed Off!

The beach known as The Children's Pool in La Jolla, California, has been a point of pride in the town for 75 years. Today almost no one goes there to swim--not since a pod of 200 harbor seals took up residence on the sand. Should La Jolla return the beach to use by people or make it a seal preserve? Sealed Off! takes a quirky look at this unusual controversy through the eyes of some of the people most intimately connected to it.


Ceiba

Shot on location in Belize, Ceiba tells the story of the Maya creation myth and the importance of nature in Maya culture - at the heart of which is the Ceiba tree - the bridge between the heavens, the earth, and the underworld.


Angels of the Forest

A PhD candidate at Cornell University discusses his efforts to save silky sifaka lemurs in Madagascar. Ninety-eight percent of Madagascar's mammals, including the lemurs, exist nowhere else on Earth. Because of their white fur, and their amazing ability to fly through the forest, silky sifaka lemurs are called 'angels of the forest.' But silkies are one of the world's top 25 most endangered primates. If silky sifaka lemurs were to disappear from Madagascar, then they would disappear from our world. International scientists and local Malagasy conservationists are fighting for the survival of this exceptional species and its irreplaceable habitat.

Rising Tide and Cascading Effects

Climate change will affect nearly all living things - from coral reefs to pine beetles - but it will affect different ecosystems in different ways. These programs examine the dramatic changes that may be in store for treasured National Parks in Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.

The Flying Dustbin

"The Flying Dustbin" is the success story of the Fulmar, a seabird which numbers 500,000 pairs in the UK but was virtually unknown as a breeding species at the turn of the last century. The film documents the reasons for its success, but is also a warning. The Fulmar faces some very serious modern problems, 9 out of 10 Fulmars in the North Sea have plastic in their stomachs whilst global warming is diminishing its natural prey stocks, leading to breeding failures. The film was shot at various locations around Scotland including Aberdeenshire, the Orkney Islands, and St. Kilda, as well as in the Netherlands.

Montana Fare

How do Americans decide what food to eat? Examine contemporary food culture in rural Montana through the eyes of two women who try to feed their families while living 50 miles from the nearest grocery store. What is more important: quantity or quality, taste or price?


Lines in the Sand

Can healthcare truly be transformed through the use of stem cells? This documentary addresses the nature of stem cells, their purpose, origin and future use in advanced medical treatments. The program seeks to cut through the controversy surrounding stems cells and provide individuals the information they need to decide for themselves.


Disturbance

As a hybrid of natural history documentary, art film, and political commentary, this film explores the complexity of fire management and fire ecology of the Northern Rockies. Shot completely in Montana, this experimental documentary showcases extraordinary footage of black-backed woodpeckers, boreal toads, and other fire-dependent species, as well as behind-the-scenes footage of fire command camps.


The Mongolian Marmot

This is the story of the Mongolian marmot and its unique place in both past and present Mongolian culture. Today, the marmots in Mongolia are threatened by over-hunting and habitat destruction, and the loss of this species would cause devastation across the entire ecosystems they support. "The Mongolian Marmot" features Mongolians from all walks of life - from nomadic herders to young biologists -to tell the unique cultural importance and natural history of the Mongolian marmot.


Source to the Sea: The Columbia River Swim, Part 1

This award-winning film tells the story of Christopher Swain's epic 1,300 mile swim down the entire length of the Columbia River. Follow Swain downriver as he calls attention to a multitude of environmental and human rights concerns that plague this great river of the West. The plight of wild salmon, the never-ending pollution from the Hanford Nuclear reservation, the dozens of dams choking the river, and the countless Native Americans affected by the industrial domination of a once-wild river are all a part of this story of the Columbia River.


Source to the Sea: The Columbia River Swim, Part 2

This award-winning film tells the story of Christopher Swain's epic 1,300 mile swim down the entire length of the Columbia River. Follow Swain downriver as he calls attention to a multitude of environmental and human rights concerns that plague this great river of the West. The plight of wild salmon, the never-ending pollution from the Hanford Nuclear reservation, the dozens of dams choking the river, and the countless Native Americans affected by the industrial domination of a once-wild river are all a part of this story of the Columbia River.


Terra Short Films

On this episode, Terra brings you a collection of short films from Montana and around the world. Ranging from conservation documentaries to environmental art films, these short films showcase a diverse spectrum of ideas and styles from cutting-edge filmmakers.