Environmental Heroes TV documentary airs on UNC-TV

A television documentary profiling North Carolina environmental heroes aired Thursday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 p.m. on North Carolina Public Television (UNC-TV).

The program is a co-production of UNC-TV and students and faculty from the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"People around the state are working hard to protect our natural environment. We hope our documentary inspires viewers to become environmental heroes themselves in their local communities," said Tom Linden, executive producer and director of the science and medical journalism program at UNC.

The environmental heroes profiled in the documentary include:

  • Will Blozan, an arborist from Black Mountain, N.C., who is trying to help control the wooly adelgid, a tiny imported insect that is killing hemlock trees in the Appalachian chain from Canada to Georgia.
  • Alex and Betsy Hitt, owners of Peregrine Farm in Alamance County and longtime practitioners of sustainable agriculture.  The Hitts have been selling vegetables and flowers to local farmers' markets and Triangle restaurants for more than 20 years.
  • Diana Tetens, executive director of the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association in Durham. Tetens and her volunteer board are helping restore the health of Ellerbe Creek, a polluted urban stream that flows from Durham to Falls Lake, which supplies drinking water for nearly half a million people.

Environmental Heroes

The documentary is a sequel to the first Environmental Heroes show that aired in February 2010 on UNC-TV.  Associate producer of the new program was Jim Sander, documentary film producer from Chapel Hill, N.C. Andrew VanDerVeer, a medical student at the UNC, was the assistant producer.

Director of videography and video editor for the program was UNC-TV's Mike Oniffrey.  Peter Bell, Alan Brown and Mike O'Connell provided additional videography.

Music was by Carrboro resident Chris Frank of the Red Clay Ramblers.

Students from the UNC School of Media and Journalism and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health produced and wrote the three profiles. They included segment producers Emily Brostek, Facundo Diego del Villar and VanDerVeer.  Segment associate producers were Anna Gieselman, Hertta Heinonen and Lauren Poor.

Scriptwriters included Courtney Harrington, Niveditha Ravi and Jeff Yeo.

Broadcast design was by Resa Toeller of UNC-TV.

More information about the science and medical journalism program is available at jomc.unc.edu/medicaljournalism.

Photos by Mike Oniffrey