June 1st, 1999 - November 30th, 1999 | PROJECT

WGBH is shooting some test footage for a science series on fire. This Small Grant for Exploratory Research will enable the producers to film a major controlled burn, called Frostfire, in the forests north of Fairbanks, Alaska. This is the only opportunity to film this 2,200 acre burn that has been set to examine the ecological consequences of fire on land and in the air. Researchers have been studying the hydrology, climate and ecosystem of this watershed since 1969, and the fire will be a continuation of that research, aiming to extend the understanding of the effects of this type of disturbance in many areas, including global warming, permafrost vulnerability, vegetation patterns and variables, and fire and smoke plume behaviors. This SGER also will enable WGBH to examine how the television series can best present this kind of major fire in the series. While there have been images of mass fire presented on television before, filmmakers have almost always come to a large fire that is already in progress. Being involved in the planning and initial phases of the Frostfire effort will enable WGBH to test the extent to which it is possible, by taking advantage of the scientists' planning and by careful placement of cameras, to record a fire in a new and meaningful way. The production team also will be able to experiment with and establish the best ways to track a fire. This knowledge can then be applied to future filming of wildfires.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Judith Vecchione, Principal Investigator, WGBH


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9908863
Funding Amount: 50200


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Climate | Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Geoscience and geography
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology