"A Naturalist in Florida"": video update

by Dr. Joan Herrera

‘He could stop by the side of a road, and turn a little ditch into a fascinating cosmos that held you spellbound’ – Karen Bjorndahl, University of Florida.

Three years ago, members of the Aucilla River Prehistory Project crew assisted WUFT filmmakers Dennis Gaston and Dennis Ogle in reenacting scenes from the life of internationally renowned naturalist and author, Dr. Archie Carr (see: ARPP reenacts ‘A Naturalist in Florida’, Aucilla River Times, Vol. 10, 1. page 20 and ‘A Naturalist in Florida’: an update, Aucilla River Times, Vol. 11, 1. page 20). Several members of the ARPP crew were privileged to attend the premier of the film in association with the awarding of the Archie Carr Medal on November 12, 1997. Since that time, the film has been shown on PBS stations from Maine to California including about half the states in the nation, and it has won numerous awards.

The film won first place in the biography division at the 1998 Silver State Documentary Festival in Nevada. Videographer Dennis Gaston won the Silver Award for Best Editor/Documentary at the 1998 Florida Motion Picture and Television Association Crystal Reel Awards. Independent producer, Letitia Langord was nominated for an Emmy Award for the writing. And, the film also won the Motion Picture, Radio and TV Award from the Florida State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.

‘Archie Carr: A Naturalist in Florida’ includes stunning nature photography from around Florida. The documentary includes footage from many of the places Dr. Carr worked with his research and his students: Everglades National Park, the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, Corkscrew Swamp Preserve, Paynes Prairie State Park, and the Ichetucknee, Suwannee, and Rainbow Rivers.

Dr. Carr and his work inspired an entire generation of naturalists. Through his writing he continues to uncover the wonders of natural history for people the world over. You can read a transcript of the film, view selected video clips, and find the latest news releases about ‘Archie Carr: A Naturalist in Florida’ on WUFT’s website at http://www.wuft.tv/Carr.aspx. WUFT reports that many PBS stations have requested the film and are planning to air the documentary, so watch for it on a PBS station in your area.