Number of Programs: 52 programs
Program Length: half-hour
Naturalist/Interpreter Sue Ellen Fast takes viewers on excursions to discover the fascinating natural history of premier parks and natural locations in North America, Central America and Hawaii. In her delightfully folksy way, she brings to life the story of each landscape and it's community of plants and animals for viewers. For example, viewers see how tiny plants survive in the harshest of circumstances and how the incredibly bio-diverse rainforest communities thrive as a system. In other programs, Sue Ellen shows evidence of the past in many programs; she reveals the stories that are there to be discovered in dinosaur fossils, and in the unique geology of many special places. Every program is a different adventure into the story of our planet.
People connect with nature by experiencing it - by engaging their senses and discovering it through fresh sensory experiences. Because of this, a great emphasis is put on creating a dense stream of rich imagery and sounds for each program. The camera captures the beauty of the wide vistas and the close-up details of nature, and the sound recorder captures the ambiance of each location - the sounds of the wind, the birds, trees, insects and so on.
At each park, Sue Ellen takes viewers on two or three nature walks to examine the different natural environments of the area. In some cases, other naturalists or scientists join her to explain particular features. Sue Ellen invites the audience to connect with the natural world and to engage in their own process of discovery under her skillful direction. She also looks for evidence for earlier human habitation and how these inhabitants adapted to their environment.
While the television medium can readily bring viewers input through their eyes and their ears, it cannot bring input for the other senses: touch, taste and smell. Here's where Sue Fast plays another important role - by communicating those things to the viewers. To that end, she develops an intimate relationship with the camera, and the audience at home. The camera records close-up Sue Ellen's reactions when she sticks her finger into a sea anemone or feels the bark of a tree.
Original music and quality packaging helps ensure that each program is a first class production.