The Truth About Trees: A Natural and Human History

October 1st, 2012 - September 30th, 2015 | PROJECT

This documentary film series and community story project aims to raise awareness of the critical role of trees for all life on Earth and to spark interest in getting involved with trees at the local level. Trees are threatened by climate disruption and deforestation, and yet at the same time are essential to efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Many citizen groups are involved with planting and care of trees. Collaboration with these groups at the national and community level offers a practical, action-oriented opportunity to mobilize networks of citizens already interested in and identified with trees in the effort to raise broader awareness of the subject. Project deliverables include a 3-part PBS documentary series, a multimedia story project in collaboration with several of these citizen groups; a website and social media; and informational materials to support broadcast meteorologists in reporting about tree science in the context of current weather/changing climate. The project is projected to reach at least 15 million Americans during the grant period and many more during the 10-year project lifespan of the films. Principal public audiences include PBS viewers and citizen foresters. The professional audience is broadcast meteorologists. Partners include the U.S. Forest Service, National Environmental Education Foundation, and Alliance for Community Trees. This is a new model of local/national collaborative storytelling and community engagement designed to increase knowledge, awareness, and interest in tree biology and forest ecology.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products
Poster - Engaging citizen foresters as local participants in a national media project

Team Members

Wendy Pollock, Co-Principal Investigator, James Agee Film Project
Ross Spears, Principal Investigator, James Agee Film Project
Carey Tisdal, Evaluator, Tisdal Consulting


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 1223236
Funding Amount: 1110450


Audience: Adults | Families | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Climate | Ecology | forestry | agriculture
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Community Outreach Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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