© 2022 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
WKAR StayTuned Update

American Spring LIVE | Nature

Thor Hanson, On-Camera Expert

Monday - Wednesday, April 29 - May 1, 8pm on WKAR-HD 23.1 | Watch one of nature’s greatest performances – a time of rebirth, renewed energy and dramatic transformations. 

Acclaimed news anchor Juju Chang will host the multi-platform event, with on-camera experts, including biologist Thor Hanson and entomologist Phil Torres, showing springtime phenomena in various locations across the country, in ecosystems ranging from the Rockies to the Everglades, from inner-city parks to remote wilderness preserves. The series will include a mix of live and pre-taped footage highlighting some of the most pivotal events in nature’s calendar.

A diverse group of researchers and citizen scientists will investigate how a wide range of organisms respond to the change of seasons. They will share their insights into the natural world, reveal new technologies that make their discoveries possible and encourage audiences to join the adventure of science.

“Nature throws a party every year, and it’s called spring. It is the most active time in the natural world for plant and animals, from birth and rebirth to migrations to pollination,” said Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman. “In addition to witnessing incredible wonders, the goal of Nature: American Spring LIVE is to inspire people to go outside and get involved with science. Everyone can play a part in our natural world.”

Each episode is built around a central theme chosen to reveal how the new season triggers extraordinary biological change. Tentative live locations include California’s Sequoia National Park and Point Reyes National Seashore, Florida’s Everglades, the Eastern shore of Virginia, a sheep farm in Maine, a black bear den in rural Western Maryland, and Texas’s Bracken Cave and Gulf Coast.

Episode 1: “Birth and Rebirth” (w.t.) premieres Monday, April 29 and facebook.com/PBSNature
Tracing the green wave that sweeps across the continent in spring, see how the rising temperatures and longer days spur plants to awaken and flower. Animals go through their own transformations, seeking out newly abundant resources, moving from winter homes to summer breeding grounds, or emerging from hibernation. Learn how both plants and animals have incorporated seasonal change into their life cycles and successful reproductive strategies – all demonstrated by the birth of a lamb in Maine.

Episode 2: “Migration” (w.t.) premieres Tuesday, April 30 and facebook.com/PBSNature
Breeding and the greening of the landscape are tied to another major spectacle of spring: the mass movements of animals as they take advantage of spring’s bounty. Meet the scientists who track these journeys, often over vast distances, from winter refuge to spring nesting grounds. As they attempt to uncover the precise triggers and timing of migration and its impact on other animal species, the scientists grapple with how these patterns and behaviors may shift due to climate change.

Episode 3: “Connections” (w.t.) premieres Wednesday, May 1 and facebook.com/PBSNature
Nature’s perfect partnerships, precisely synchronized, have evolved over thousands of years. Learn how plants and animals depend on each other to survive. See first-hand how climate change can break those connections, altering the timing of weather and plant growth, and disrupting the delicate relationships between plants and pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Nature: American Spring LIVE is the finale of Nature’s 37th season on PBS. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.

News from WKAR will never be behind a paywall. Ever. We need your help to keep our coverage free for everyone. Please consider supporting the news you rely on with a donation today. You can support our journalism for as little as $5. Every contribution, no matter the size, propels our vital coverage. Thank you.