Press Release: White Mountain Documentary Premieres November 17 on UCSD-TV (10/2004))

'White Mountain' Documentary Premieres November 17 on UCSD-TV

Science Night Lineup Highlights Field Research Stations Statewide

LA JOLLA, CA, October 27, 2004--See just what it means to study life on the edge at the University of California's White Mountain Research Station (WMRS) when "In the Shadow of White Mountain" makes its television debut Wednesday, November 17 at 8:00PM. The evening's expedition continues at 9:00PM with programs profiling two sites within the University's renowned Natural Reserve System (NRS). Viewers who miss the November 17th "White Mountain" premiere can catch repeated airings the following Mondays at 10:00PM and Wednesday at 8:00PM. Each repeat broadcast will be coupled with a new set of NRS profiles, giving viewers an inside look at the work being done to uncover California's many scientific secrets.

Featuring the distinctive voice of narrator Peter Coyote, "In the Shadow of White Mountain" tells the many stories of this unique resource for science, a biological field station with both the highest research lab and the highest Internet node in North America. WMRS provides unprecedented access to a host of environmental conditions, animals, and vegetation, and is yielding a vital understanding of change, from physiology to climate, from the oldest known living organism, to a short-lived beetle, and what this understanding means for all.

Nearly three years in the making, "In the Shadow of White Mountain" was produced by UCSD-TV, the broadcast television station based on the UC San Diego campus. Funding was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the organization's effort to increase public awareness and appreciation of NSF supported science, such as WMRS' remote monitoring of field data on a real-time basis using the Internet, and a new molecular biology laboratory used for a variety of biological investigations, including the Sierra Bighorn Sheep Recovery program.

In addition to sharing this scenic research location with the public, the program's producers hope to convey a deeper understanding of what locations such as White Mountain contribute to science and our lives. "This beautiful place is a unique resource for science, and by extension, for us all," said UCSD-TV producer/director Rich Wargo. "Environments such as White Mountain play a critical role in our understanding of the changing world in which we live, and I hope our viewers will come away with an appreciation for the work being done here by many fields of science."

Peter Coyote, Emmy Award-winning narrator, noted actor, award-winning author, and seasoned environmental advocate, provided the voiceover narration for "In the Shadow of White Mountain," illuminating how the research conducted at the WMRS continues to help us understand what is happening to our changing world, and what that may mean to our future. Of the narration Coyote said, "I love this--this is a fascinating story, it's very interesting, and it's challenging."

The diversity of research that takes place at WMRS is reflected in the hour-long documentary, which includes segments about the endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep; the amazing survival of the ancient Bristlecone Pine Tree; the extreme hibernation of White Mountain's squirrels; the evolution of the Willow Beetle and what it tells us about climate change; and how extreme altitude effects equines, known for their incredible aerobic performance. For more information on "In the Shadow of White Mountain," including exclusive behind the scenes photos, producer's notes, and links to additional resources, visit http://www.ucsd.tv/whitemountain/.

With each November airing of "In the Shadow of White Mountain," UCSD-TV will air additional programs about UC's NRS sites, as well as two operated by Stanford University. The month's schedule follows:

Wednesday, November 17

8:00PMIn the Shadow of White Mountain

9:00PMHastings Reserve--Tour this biological field station in the Santa Lucia Mountain range in Monterey County.

9:30PMThe Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve--Situated on the Big Sur Coast, this reserve provides a spectacular location to study nature.

Monday, November 22

10:00PMIn the Shadow of White Mountain

11:00PMJames Reserve--Located in Southern California's San Jacinto Mountains, this reserve uses technology to gain insight into the natural world.

11:30PMSedgwick Reserve--At this site near Santa Barbara, researchers explore the microorganisms that support California's ecosystems, and work to preserve the disappearing oak woodlands and restore native grasslands.

Wednesday, November 24

8:00PMIn the Shadow of White Mountain

9:00PMCoal Oil Point Reserve--This reserve near the UC Santa Barbara campus protects a variety of coastal and estuarine habitats and hosts thousands of visiting migratory birds.

9:30PMSedgwick Reserve

Monday, November 29

10:00PMIn the Shadow of White Mountain

11:00PMJasper Ridge Preserve--Owned and operated by Stanford University, this Central California site yields studies of the potential effects of global climate change.

11:30PMHopkins Marine Station--Located on the Monterey Peninsula, this Stanford University-run research and educational facility is the first marine laboratory established on the American Pacific coast (in 1892).

The White Mountain Research Station (WMRS) is a multicampus research unit (MRU) of the University of California Office of Research, with a campus office located at UC San Diego. The station includes a base facility (Owens Valley Lab; elevation 4000') located in the high desert near the town of Bishop, as well as three facilities in the White Mountains: a montane station at Crooked Creek (elev. 10,200'), an alpine station at Barcroft (elev. 12,500'), and a remote high alpine lab on the summit of White Mountain Peak (elev. 14,250'). The combination of facilities, high elevation, year-round access, and dry air make the station uniquely valuable for scientific study and educational purposes. More information can be found at http://www.wmrs.edu/

The University of California's Natural Reserve System (NRS) contributes to the understanding and wise management of the Earth and its natural systems by supporting university-level teaching, research, and public service at protected natural areas throughout California. The NRS is the largest university-operated system of natural reserves in the world. Visit http://www.nrs.ucop.edu for more information.

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