NWPB partners with science series NOVA on climate initiative

The Climate Across America initiative officially launches with the premiere of the NOVA documentary “Weathering the Future” at 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 12, on KWSU and KTNW.

Northwest Public Broadcasting and the award-winning PBS science series NOVA have joined forces to produce and distribute climate-focused stories as part of the national Climate Across America initiative. The initiative will spotlight how climate change affects communities across the United States and engage audiences in conversations about climate solutions.

Northwest Public Broadcasting, also known as NWPB, is licensed to Washington State University.

The Climate Across America initiative officially launches with the premiere of the NOVA documentary “Weathering the Future” at 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 12, on KWSU and KTNW. Audiences can get a sneak peek at NWPB’s special screening and live panel discussion at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 6 at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow, Idaho. The event is free to the public, but seating is limited so registration is strongly encouraged. 

At the sneak peak event, NWPB will show its feature piece on dam removal and salmon populations as well as a segment from NOVA’s documentary “Weathering the Future” about wildfire mitigation. The panel will be comprised of local subject matter experts who will discuss the climate challenges referenced in the videos and solutions that communities can initiate themselves. 

“Climate change is a global problem, but the varied impacts are felt at a local level,” said NOVA Co-Executive Producer Chris Schmidt. “This timely initiative provides an opportunity to shine a light on the impacts of climate change in communities across America and engage audiences in conversations about innovative solutions. We hope these stories will serve as inspiring and hopeful examples to others.”

NWPB is one of 10 public media stations collaborating with NOVA on this initiative. The station will produce two broadcast stories focused on climate challenges and solutions that impact the Pacific Northwest. One report investigates the effect dams have on salmon populations and the potential outcomes from dam removal. The other highlights prescribed burns as a wildfire mitigation technique.

“Northwest Public Broadcasting has been thrilled to take part in this important initiative with NOVA,” said NWPB General Manager Cara Williams Fry. “The opportunity to investigate solutions and bring these ideas to a larger platform is something I hope will help our audiences understand the issues that will impact Northwest residents today and in the future.”

Julia Cort, NOVA co-executive producer, will be attending the April 6 screening and panel discussion at the Kenworthy as a special guest.

“The mounting impacts of climate change are among the greatest challenges our society will face in the next century,” she said. “As crucial as it is, communicating effectively about climate has also become extremely challenging. We’re excited that this national-local collaboration will allow us to share our expertise with the wider PBS system–and to tell diverse, personal stories that resonate powerfully with our audiences.”

Panelists include: 

  • Moderator: Sueann Ramella | Director of Audience | NWPB 
  • Panelist: Karl Dye | President & CEO, TRIDEC
  • Panelist: Dr. Vivek Utgikar | Professor, University of Idaho Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering  
  • Panelist: Jay A. Hesse | Director of Biological Services for Fisheries Resources Management, Nez Perce Tribe 
  • Panelist: Shannon Wheeler | Vice Chairman, Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee 

NWPB and other locally produced Climate Across America content will be timed with two new NOVA documentaries premiering in April on PBS: “Weathering the Future,” which premieres on Wednesday, April 12 at 9 pm ET/8C, and “Chasing Carbon Zero,” which will premiere on Wednesday, April 26 at 9 pm ET/8C. The documentaries will also be available to stream at pbs.org/nova, on NOVA’s YouTube channel, and via the PBS App.

Audiences can follow the initiative online starting April 10, using the hashtag #ClimateAcrossAmerica. 

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