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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM Student, Faculty Researchers Featured on Wild Chronicles

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Feb. 18, 2008) – A UCM research team from the Department of Biology and Earth Science will be featured on the PBS program Wild Chronicles to be broadcast on or around Feb. 22 on PBS television stations nationwide.

Scheduled broadcast of the program may vary by station, and a rebroadcast of the single episode on KMOS-TV, channel 6, will be announced later this spring.

“Smoky Mountains Treetop Exploration” is a 5-7 minute segment is taken from footage filmed by National Geographic Society television producer Jason Orfanon during July, 2007 in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Boyd Matson serves as the host and narrator. The day and time of the broadcast may vary from station to station.

The storyline documents the exploration of the tree canopy using the double rope climbing technique by the UCM research team. Two graduate student climbers, Sydney E. Everhart and Courtney M. Kilgore, demonstrate how to access, climb, and gather samples of myxomycetes, macrofungi, lichens, mosses, liverworts  and ferns from the tree canopy.  Harold W. Keller, visiting professor of biology at UCM, coordinates the ground crew and serves as the principal investigator for the research project titled “RUI: Biodiversity and Ecology of Tree Canopy Biota in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”

This project was financially supported in part by the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration Grant, National Science Foundation, Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories Award, Division of Environmental Biology, and Discover Life in America Award.

Wild Chronicles looks at the human relationship with nature, highlighting breakthrough science that offers real hope for the future. The program is presented on public television stations by National Geographic Society Mission Program, the arm of the Society that supports pioneering research and field expeditions.