Discovering Alabama programs are listed here in order of production with the most recent episodes listed first. All Discovering Alabama programs are being digitized for online viewing. Programs currently available online are highlighted in green with the watch symbol.
90. Grand Sylvan Realm. Discovering Alabama has produced many programs presenting the diversity, ecology, and other values of Alabama forests. In this show, viewers are invited to simply “regale in the presence of these lands”, as a combination of aerial cinematography and musical accompaniment pleasantly showcase first the impressive lands of Alabama’s national forest, and then Alabama’s vast, abundant private forestlands.
Discovering Alabama - E.O Wilson Special. Discovering Alabama host and creator, Doug Phillips, enjoys an interview visit with world-renowned ecologist and Alabama native, Dr. E.O. Wilson. Dr. Wilson has been a friend of Discovering Alabama for many years and has appeared in a number of Discovering Alabama programs presenting his environmental insights. In this interview Dr. Wilson shares his perspective on various issues of our time.
89. Alabama Indigenous Mound Trail. The world-renowned earthen Indian mounds at Moundville Archaeological Park are among the nation’s most impressive remnants of prehistoric human habitation. Around 1200 AD the site was the cultural center of native populations in the southeast. Less known are the many other prehistoric mound sites in Alabama, some dating back thousands of years and, like Moundville, revealing archaeological evidence of changing lifeways across the span of time. “The Alabama Indigenous Mound Trail” takes viewers on a journey from north to south across the state showcasing the intrigue of mound sites found along the officially designated state historical trail.
88. Tuscaloosa. The City of Tuscaloosa was incorporated on December 13, 1819, one day before Alabama was officially declared a state. Thus, 2019 marks Alabama’s 200th year together with the bicentennial year of Tuscaloosa and a span of Tuscaloosa history, from the time of settlement to present day, that is among the most significant in the story of our state. This video traces that history while showcasing Tuscaloosa’s natural assets and highlighting a local planning project that seeks to balance the City’s new growth with environmental protection and other quality-of-life considerations. Teacher's Guide for Tuscaloosa show
87. Prattville and Autauga County. Discovering Alabama’s “Prattville and Autauga County” highlights the overall appeal of Autauga County while giving primary focus to the globally significant history associated with famed industrialist Daniel Pratt and his influence on the development of the town of Prattville, today the seat of the government for Autauga County. The episode includes interviews with some of Alabama’s most notable historians, discussing the county’s past and present, and reflecting on concerns for the area’s future. Teacher Guide for Prattville and Autauga County show
86. State Archives. Our state was the first in the union to create an official agency to take care of its history: The Alabama Department of Archives and History. Join Dr. Doug Phillips as he explores what it means to “take care” of history. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the documents, government records, artifacts and relics preserved by the Archives. Meet the people who make the tough decisions on what to preserve. Experience the Museum of Alabama with 5th Graders from Andalusia Elementary School. Teacher Guide for State Archives
85. Whooping Cranes. Cranes are among the oldest living species on Earth, and whooping cranes (Grus americana) are the rarest of the world's 15 crane species. Historically whooping cranes ranged widely across North America relying on an abundance of native wetland habitats. However, as the nation settled and developed, the whooping crane population declined dramatically due to habitat loss, uncontrolled hunting, and other factors. By 1950 only about 20 of the birds remained. Today collaborative efforts are making progress in recovering the whooping crane population, and Alabama’s Wheeler Wildlife Refuge has become a contributing resource for this recovery, providing vital wetland habitat for the cranes’ annual migration south. Host Dr. Doug Phillips reflects upon the eloquent writings of the early American conservationist, Aldo Leopold, to punctuate the majesty and significance of cranes. Teacher Guide
84. State Capitals. Alabama has had five different capitals since its first territorial legislature made the claim for statehood. This video visits each of these capital sites, examines archival records, and interviews a number of historians, archaeologists, educators, and others in telling the interesting stories associated with the history of Alabama’s five state capitals. The video is produced in celebration of Alabama’s Bicentennial. Teacher Guide for State Capitals show
83. Private Forests. Alabama has the 2nd largest producing forestland base in the U.S. with 23.0 million acres. The state ranks at the top with more than 70 different forest communities and almost 200 species of trees. Alabama’s National Forests, State Parks, and other public lands provide impressive representation of the states forest diversity. However, the majority of Alabama’s forestlands are not public lands but, instead, are privately owned lands, and owned not by large commercial entities but by individuals and families who typically own relatively small tracts of forestland. “Alabama Private Forests” visits with private landowners across the state to highlight the values of these lands from the perspective of private owners. Also featured are various natural resource professionals with expertise in forest management and forest ecology. A major aspect of the video is the role of professional consulting foresters assisting forest owners with the stewardship of their forestlands. Teacher Guide for Private Forests show
82. North River Watershed. Dr. Doug Phillips explores confluences, conflicts, and cooperation in Alabama’s North River Watershed. Reaching across political boundaries and personal agendas, citizens, governments, environmentalists and business leaders have united to create a plan for water management that may well be a model for the rest of the state and the nation. Teacher Guide for North River Watershed show
81. Coastal Education. Across Alabama’s coastal area is an uncommon wealth of educational opportunities. The area’s great natural diversity lends itself to excellent learning experiences at myriad environmental centers, learning labs, and programs and more. This program highlights this abundance of education resources and opportunities for all age groups. Teacher Guide for Coastal Education show
80. Coastal History. Alabama’s coastal area served as the gateway to the New World for many of early European adventurers and explorers. From exploration forward the area has remained significant in American history. This program highlights the many impressive events, sites, and artifacts of Alabama’s coastal history across time from early America to the present. Teacher Guide for Coastal History show
79. Coastal Ecology. Alabama’s coastal area is one of the most naturally diverse coastal areas in the nation. This program features commentary from numerous leading ecological experts and follows host Dr. Doug Phillips canoeing through beautiful wild wonders in the area and highlighting the area’s unique geological, hydrological, and biological richness. Teacher Guide for Coastal Ecology show
78. Marble City. Artists, scientists and entrepreneurs have for centuries been inspired by a snowy-white substance buried beneath the soils of Talladega County, Alabama. Join Dr. Doug Phillips as he investigates the art history, the geological history and the industrial history of the Alabama marvel known worldwide as Sylacauga Marble. Teacher Guide for Marble City show
77. State Parks. Alabama State Parks turned 75 in 2014, and Dr. Doug Phillips invites you to “Come along with me as we explore a place we can all call our own.” Discovering Alabama visits all 22 State Parks to reveal how—since 1939—our parks offer recreation, education and inspiration for each and everyone of us. Teacher Guide for State Parks
76. Alabama Countryside. It feeds us. It clothes us. It nurtures our economy and our ecology. And so often it is into the countryside that we escape to renew our spirits. Join Dr. Doug Phillips as he pays tribute to the greatest of our state’s natural wonders: the Alabama Countryside. Teacher Guide for Alabama Countryside show
75. Eastern Indigo Snake. The eastern indigo snake, largest snake native to north America, was last recorded in Alabama in the early 1950s. It’s no wonder Alabama school children—and probably most adults—do not know of this remarkable creature. Now, nearly 60 years later, a team of university scientists, state government, federal government, private organizations, and concerned citizens are bringing the eastern indigo back to Alabama. Come along with Dr. Doug as he explores the wondrous world of the indigo snake. Check local listings for Discovering Alabama: Eastern Indigo Snakes.
74. Forever Wild Renewal. Dr. Doug Phillips explores the remarkable achievements of Alabama’s nationally recognized Forever Wild program. Funded primarily by interest from natural gas royalties, Forever Wild has helped preserve thousands of acres of wildlands for parks, recreation, hunting and wildlife habitat.
73. Tornado. Dr. Doug Phillips offers a very personal look at the aftermath of the tornadoes that ravaged our state on April 27, 2011. As the preeminent documentarian of Alabama’s natural history it occasionally falls to Discovering Alabama to record events all of us would just as soon forget. In the days following the tornadoes, the Discovering Alabama crew traveled the state. Remarkable before and after footage of natural areas laid bare speaks for itself. Dr. Doug speaks for all of us when he says, “The lives rent asunder by this tragedy will never be the same. We would fool ourselves to think otherwise. Yet here, too, with each other’s support, care, with the love we have for one another, we share the pain of remembering and the hope for tomorrow.” Teacher Guide for Tornado show
72. Alabama Model School. This program highlights an innovative model approach to teaching, the “Discovering Alabama Model School Program,” established at Woodland Forrest Elementary School (“Forrest” is taken from the schools’ “Woodland Forrest” suburban community name). This model was initiated when a team of Woodland Forrest teachers visited Discovering Alabama producer, Dr. Doug Phillips, to request assistance in developing the Discovering Alabama model program. These teachers had determined that “Discovering Alabama” was an ideal theme for organizing the year-long curriculum around the Discovering Alabama documentaries and Teacher Guides and engaging students in the Discovering Alabama approach for inquiry-based, hands-on discovery. In this show, host Dr. Phillips joins his camera crew – after returning from leading a vigorous wilderness survival expedition – and simply provides a bit of guiding commentary while the main story is told by the teachers, students, and parents of Woodland Forrest Elementary School. Teacher Guide for Alabama Model School show
71. Gulf Oil Spill. While Discovering Alabama is a natural history series showcasing the beautiful natural wonders of our state, in this show we are compelled to examine a tragedy assailed as the most catastrophic oil spill in U.S. history. On April 20, 2010, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and burned, taking the lives of eleven work crew and leaving a damaged well casing to spew oil five thousand feet beneath the Gulf of Mexico. The spill continued for months creating an environmental disaster with long-term ecological and economic implications for Alabama. This episode of Discovering Alabama returns to coastal Alabama to visit with various experts and authorities who are working to help Alabama rebound from the impacts of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
70. Project Community 2010. Today awareness grows for the importance of close cooperation between the school community and the surrounding local community. For most of Discovering Alabama’s 25 years, the series has been offering assistance to Alabama schools encouraging close engagement of the local community with the school community, promoting learning that connects the needs of Alabama’s human communities to the role of Alabama’s natural communities. Now, through an innovative collaborative called Project Community, Discovering Alabama has joined with a statewide partnership of agencies and organizations teaming with Discovering Alabama to provide added K-12 assistance with hands-on natural science and conservation education. In this show, Discovering Alabama visits Alabama schools, teachers, and students for a first-hand look at hands-on learning using Alabama’s outdoors to augment the natural sciences and many other subjects. Also featured are recent technological innovations linking hands-on nature study to Discovering Alabama’s various computer-based K-12 resources, including the Discovering Alabama Virtual Field Trips.
69. Alabama Allure. Since 1985, Discovering Alabama has been bringing you the wild wonders of our state. And since 2005, we’ve been bringing you those wonders in glorious high definition. But there’s only so much of this magnificent footage we can fit into a regular show. So, for this special addition, pull up your easy chair, get ready for some pleasant music, and kick back and enjoy the unique allure of Alabama.
68. Alabama Bats. Various species of that unique flying mammal, bats, can be found in Alabama. Several, such as the Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus) and the Big Yellow Bat (Lasiurus intermedius) are considered imperiled due to declining populations. This program follows a team of bat scientists on a research expedition into Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest to study the habits and ecological status of bats. Included are expert assessments of the special capabilities of bats and their important role in the natural environment.
67. Alabama In Space. In the 1960’s when America undertook its bold initiative to put a man on the moon, a first step was finding a suitable place on Earth to build and test the powerful rockets that would be needed. That place turned out to be North Alabama in the Huntsville area to be exact. Here NASA found a unique combination of suitable undeveloped land together with easy access for materials transport via the Tennessee River. The rest is history. This show traces that history, the natural history and the human history, of Alabama’s role in America’s legacy of space travel. Produced with special assistance from NASA, and including guest interviews by NASA officials, the show also honors the nation’s 40th year celebration of the first arrival of man on the moon. Teacher Guide for Alabama In Space show
66. Nature and the Arts. Art and nature have a long and intimate relationship. Since prehistoric times, humans have created art that reflected the natural world in the form of crafted tools and handiworks, etchings and paintings, music, dance, architecture, poetry and literature. Likewise, nature embodies the inspiration of art, challenging man to capture its beauty. In this episode, viewers are taken on a quest to explore nature in art and art in nature. The program visits several Alabama artists of different modalities as they transform and convey the marvels of nature through their creations. Highlights include a demonstration of Native American dancing at the Moundville Native American Festival, the poetry of children’s author Charles “Father Goose” Ghigna and conservation photography of Beth Maynor Young. The program also examines the glasswork of Cal Breed, inspired by years of studying the beauty of the ocean, and wraps up with a performance by bluesman Willie King. Interviews with these artists provide added perspective on the relationship between the artist and his surroundings the creator and the Creation.
65. Delta Revisit. The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is one of those uniquely special places in Alabama and on planet earth. Back in the 80s, many voiced concerns that the Delta might not be around for our children to enjoy in the 21st Century. Today the Delta is a living, thriving testament to what collaborative conservation efforts can achieve.
64. White-Tailed Deer. The white-tailed deer (species name, Odocoileus virginiana) is a fascinating creature that exemplifies much of what is good about our state. This majestic animal has long been synonymous with Alabama’s diverse woodlands, wildlands, and rural countryside. In this program, host Dr. Doug Phillips joins various experts on the whitetail to look at the history of this animal, to see how people and deer are bound together today, and to learn of some cutting-edge research into the lifeways of the whitetail, and to consider what the future will hold for white-tailed deer in Alabama. Teacher Guide for White-Tailed Deer show
63. Flint River. Across the nation today, numerous rivers and streams are being encroached upon by sprawling growth and development. Such is the case with a beautiful mountain-fed stream in north Alabama. The Flint has historically been surrounded by hardwood forests and abundant wildlife. Today, the accelerating growth in Madison county and surrounding areas is rapidly robbing the Flint of its special natural qualities. In this show, host Doug Phillips floats the Flint River from near its mountainous headwaters to its juncture with the Tennessee River. Along the way, interviews with various experts and local residents help to highlight the impressive history of the Flint and the pressing changes that threaten the river today. Teacher Guide for Flint River show
62. Alabama Trails. Mountains, prairielands, woodlands, rivers, coastal marshlands. Fun, adventure, relaxation, inspiration, nature study. Alabama’s diverse natural settings provide for diverse forms of recreational and educational experience, available along the many outdoor trails in every part of the state. In this program, host Dr. Phillips highlights the variety of Alabama’s outdoor trails as he chooses to hike "the one less traveled," taking viewers on a pleasant journey of wilderness solitude and reflecting upon the history of early trails in the state, the many benefits of outdoor trails today, and related implications for the future. Also featured are guest interviews with Alabamians involved in the development and promotion of various trail systems in the state, including such non-traditional trail offerings as Alabama’s birding trails, golf trail, and covered bridge trail.
61. Invasive Plants. Exotic, invasive plant species have established a foothold, and they are refusing to let go. Millions of state and federal dollars are spent each year trying to stop these alien invaders from conquering yet more of our precious native lands. Dr. Doug Phillips braves the kudzu, the privet, the alligator weed and more to examine the growing problem of invasive plant species, the threats they pose, and how – if – these Alien Invaders can be controlled.
60. Project Community. This program features Alabama’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers.’ Dr. Phillips visits with teachers and students involved in after-school natural science education activities for a first-hand look at Alabama’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers and a project being implemented by Discovering Alabama called Project Community. Included is guest commentary by officials from the Alabama State Department of Education highlighting the importance of science education and the many values of extended-day and extended-year school programs. Also featured are recent technological innovations linking hands-on nature study to computer-based science resources, together with a look at many of the changing realities of public schooling in Alabama today.
59. Weeks Bay. In recent decades, coastal Alabama has begun experiencing burgeoning growth and development and rapid population increase, with many consequences that threaten the health of some of the nation’s most biologically productive ecosystems, Alabama’s estuaries.’ In this program, Discovering Alabama host Dr. Doug Phillips canoes down Baldwin County’s Magnolia River for a return visit to one of Alabama’s best kept estuaries, Weeks Bay (originally featured among the series’ earliest shows thus drawing public attention to the natural values of this special estuary and helping win protective federal designation as a National Estuarine Reserve.) Host Dr. Doug Phillips examines troublesome changes and impacts affecting Weeks Bay today and talks with local leaders who discuss the rising potential for environmental decline throughout Alabama’s coastal area. (Televised in High definition, surround sound)
58. Little River Canyon National Preserve. Alabama’s Little River Canyon has been called "the Grand Canyon of the South." And, indeed, it is one of the most dramatic physiographic features in the South.’ In 1985, Discovering Alabama featured Little River Canyon in one of the series’ earliest shows, drawing public attention to the unique natural attributes of the canyon and helping to win protective National Preserve status for a part of the canyon. In this program Discovering Alabama marks its 20th year anniversary by returning to Little River Canyon to examine the canyon’s current status and consider its future. (Televised in High definition, surround sound)
57. National Forests in Alabama. Alabama’s five national forests (the William B. Bankhead N.F., Tuskegee N.F., Conecuh N.F., and Talladega and Oakmulgee Divisions of the Talladega N.F.) contain magnificent stands of Alabama’s many native tree species and native forest types.’ Today these public forest lands also provide Alabamians with abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation.’ In this program, views are treated to a grand overview of the natural beauty of Alabama’s national forests while also learning the remarkable story of how these lands were recovered from early decades of extreme exploitation, thanks to the conservation commitment and stewardship of the U.S. Forest Service which celebrated its 150th Anniversary in 2005. (Televised in High definition, surround sound)
56. Tracks Across Time. This program visits a remarkable coal mine site in Walker County that reveals a scientific mother load of superbly preserved animal tracks from periods dating back around 300 million years ago. The site was purchased by the state in 2004 for permanent protection under management by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Lands Division. Teacher Guide for Tracks Across Time show
55. Wildlife Rescuers. This program highlights several programs to help injured wildlife by Alabamians who feel special compassion for animals. Included are visits to the Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park, the Southeastern Raptor Center at Auburn University, and a project to save endangered sea turtles along Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
54. Covington County. As the modern world becomes increasingly urban-ized, there are places that remain largely the way nature crafted. One such place is Covington County with its enchanting forests, crystal clear rivers, and beautiful countryside. This program overviews Covington County’s history and natural appeal as host Dr. Phillips hikes through the county along a portion of the Conecuh Trail. Along the way, viewers hear from local area biologists, educators, and others who enjoy living in Covington County and are concerned about sustaining a quality future for the county.
53. Lee County. As Alabama was being settled, the portion of the state now called Lee County was a rough frontier akin to the Wild West. Over time, the establishment of churches, local governments, businesses, farms, and notably, Auburn University, helped change Lee County into a thriving area. During recent decades, the demise of farming, together with an upsurge of industrial and commercial development, are changing much of the county in new ways. This program explores the history and heritage of Lee County and examines the implications of accelerating development that may significantly alter the county for all time.
52. Discovering Our Heritage. This program celebrates Alabama teachers and highlights the value of Alabama’s outdoors as a “natural classroom.” Viewers visit with selected master teachers who incorporate natural history and environmental education to enhance the study of required academic subjects. Also featured is the acclaimed model curriculum, Discovering Our Heritage – A Community Collaborative Approach, which draws upon a variety of environmental themes to help integrate the teaching of science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts. Included are interviews with representatives of organizations such as the Alabama Wildlife Federation, who support such environmentally-based teaching as a means of improving students’ academic performance while also promoting conservation ethics and environmental stewardship.
51. Alabama Black Belt, Part II. Many issues confront the residents of Alabama’s Black Belt region, among the more economically depressed areas of the state. Today a host of efforts are being made to examine the region's problems and consider possible solutions to a variety of needs economic, educational, and social. In this program, viewers visit a sampling of the projects and initiatives under-way to assist the Black Belt. Project representatives, including government officials, university leaders, and local participants, discuss their hopes for the region. Teacher Guide for Alabama Black Belt show
50. Alabama Black Belt – Part One. Few parts of the world can boast of land as fertile as the rich, dark soils found in Alabama's Blackland prairie region, known as the Black Belt, but unfortunately, the region is often negatively associated with cotton plantations and slavery. This program examines the region’s natural history and how it has helped shape its human and cultural history. Various leaders and local residents are featured as they consider past and present conditions and ponder prospects for the Black Belt’s future. Teacher Guide for Alabama Black Belt show
49. Bear Creek Watershed. Far up in northwest Alabama is Bear Creek, a stream of impressive wildness surrounded by farms and forests. Although remote, this part of Alabama today enjoys distinguished recognition for the successful cooperation of local organizations and landowners in correcting the serious “non-point source” pollution problems that for years caused Bear Creek to be officially closed to human use. Teacher Guide for Bear Creek Watershed show
48. Alabama Rivers. Harvard University’s world-renowned ecologist, Dr. E. O. Wilson is an Alabama native and can testify personally to what a growing number of scientists today acknowledge – “Alabama is the aquatic state!” In this video, Dr. Phillips takes viewers on a riverboat trip to examine firsthand the diversity of streams and rivers that set Alabama apart as a unique realm of freshwater resources. Guest commentary by Dr. Wilson and other experts provides added insights into both the impressive qualities of Alabama’s freshwaters and the environmental threats they face. Teacher Guide for Alabama Rivers show
47. Alabama Wetlands The term “wetlands” is relatively new. For much of the nation’s history wetlands were considered wastelands, and thus frequently drained, polluted, or otherwise altered and ruined. Today, there is new recognition of the many important ecological and economic benefits of wetlands. This video overviews the diversity of wetland resources in Alabama, describes the many values they contribute, and highlights the dilemma of inadequate wetlands protection in the state. Guest experts provide scientific and policy explanations to further clarify wetlands issues. Teacher Guide for Alabama Wetlands show
46. Night Hike. Follow host Dr. Doug Phillips as he takes a nighttime stroll through the Alabama woodlands by the light of the stars. He explains how to enjoy such a night hike without the aid of a flashlight, lantern, etc. Along the way, viewers are given a lesson in studying the night sky as Dr. Doug is joined by a group of teachers interested in astronomy. Teacher Guide for Night Hike show
45. Forest Issues. Discovering Alabama has completed several programs about the natural wonders of Alabama forests. Therefore, this program focuses primarily on key issues of forest controversy, including such hot-button issues as the practice of clear-cutting and the conversion of natural forestlands to pine tree plantations. The program features guest commentary from industry, environmental organizations, and forest research scientists, and examines these different interest groups perspective about the concept of “sustainable forestry.” Teacher Guide for Forest Issues show
44. Forest History. Alabama Forests are part of the larger southern forest ecosystem, the most productive forest regions in the nation. This unique forest region is especially diverse due to its climate and soils, and because of geological conditions associated with particular events of prehistoric times. This program highlights the importance of Alabama forests in context with the history and significance of the southern forest system. Teacher Guide for Forest History show
43. Alabama Soils. Host Dr. Doug and faithful companion Turkey journey across Alabama to examine the seven major soil areas of the state and learn about the more than 300 soil types associated with these areas. Guest experts discuss the vital ecological function of healthy soil and highlight the importance of Alabama soils to the state’s economic and environmental health. Teacher Guide for Alabama Soils show
42. Tuscaloosa County. The era of “new south” progress has brought important improvements to the southern region. However, parts of the South are also experiencing rapid growth and development that could threaten such traditional southern qualities as abundant natural surroundings and a comfortable pace of life. This video examines Tuscaloosa County, Alabama as an example of a southern community affected by accelerating new-south growth and faced with the challenge of managing this change so as to protect local rural and environmental values. Teacher Guide for Tuscaloosa County show
41. Earth Day. This video visits Selma, Alabama to join the local school system’s annual celebration of Earth Day. Interviews with teachers, students, parents and various officials highlight the significance of this national day of environmental appreciation and give special emphasis to the importance of environmental education throughout the school year.
40. Dugger Mountain Wilderness. The Dugger Mountain Wilderness contains Alabama’s second highest peak, Dugger Mountain, and is one of several federally designated “wilderness areas” in the state. In this program, Dr. Phillips hikes through the wilderness as he follows the Pinhoti Hiking Trail. Along the way, he encounters many natural wonders while considering the citizens, scientists, and government officials interested in protecting the area.
39. Forever Wild. Alabama’s “Forever Wild” land conservation program is recognized nationally for its effectiveness in protecting significant wildlands. This video reflects on the history of how the “Forever Wild” program was established and tells how Alabamians can participate in promoting such land conservation.
38. Sipsey River Swamp. Launch a canoe with Dr. Doug and discover the wild allure of the Sipsey River Swamp. The 100-mile long Sipsey River is one of Alabama’s few remaining unimpounded rivers, much of it surrounded by river-bottom swamp.
37. Fort Toulouse & Fort Jackson. Take a journey back in time for a visit to Fort Toulouse/Jackson State Park and the park’s annual Frontier Days Festival. Meet Ailbamous Indians, French soldiers, Davey Crocket, Andrew Jackson’s regiment, and converse with 18th century botanist William Bartram while also learning about the natural appeal of the location.
36. Fort Morgan. Visit historic Fort Morgan and witness an active archaeological dig, take a trek through an ancient maritime forest and witness the capture, banding, and release of migratory birds. Dr. Phillips talks to local residents in presenting the past and considering the future of Fort Morgan Peninsula, one of Alabama’s best coastal wonders.
35. Mobile River Basin. Few places boast such an abundance of freshwater as our state of Alabama. Join host Dr. Phillips for a journey across 44,000 square miles of the Mobile River Basin, a freshwater drainage encompassing most of Alabama. Teacher Guide for Mobile River Basin show
34. Arboretums. Highlighted in this video are four of Alabama’s arboretums and their significant contribution to the preservation of our native plants and trees.
33. Moundville Native American Festival. This show reflects on Alabama’s native heritage as we learn the importance of the Native American Festival held each year at Moundville Archeological Park. The show features Native Americans as they demonstrate arts and crafts unique to the Indian culture, play games from long ago and listen to stories about primary tribes, tribal territories, and basic lifeways. Teacher Guide Moundville Native American Festival show
32. Alabama Trees. In this program, host Dr. Doug Phillips takes an autumn stroll through Alabama woods to introduce viewers to individual members of the forest community and answer the commonly asked question, “what kind of tree is this?
31. Wetumpka Impact Crater. In an 1891 report, state geologist, Professor Eugene Allen Smith, noted that the area around Wetumpka was “structurally disturbed.” In this video, Dr. Phillips, along with expert geologists, examine evidence that suggests the altered landscape around Wetumpka is the result of an ancient asteroid collision. Teacher Guide for Wetumpka Impact Crater show
30. Longleaf Ecosystem. Experts now believe that the Longleaf ecosystem was at one time the single largest forest ecosystem in the south. This video highlights ongoing efforts to better understand and perpetuate the Longleaf Ecosystem. Teacher Guide for Longleaf Ecosystem show
29. Longleaf Pine. This video traces the history, and significance, of the Longleaf pine, Alabama’s official state tree. Experts now believe that the Longleaf ecosystem was at one time the single largest forest ecosystem in the south. Teacher Guide for Longleaf Pine show
28. Alabama Adventure Using beautiful nature footage from throughout Alabama, this special presentation is a visual feast accompanied by a continuous musical background for viewers who delight in Alabama’s forests, beaches, fields, mountains, rivers, flora and fauna.
27. Horse Pens 40. Located atop Chandler Mountain in St. Clair County, this site is a unique ring of large rocks forming a natural corral, used by Indians and settlers for gathering horses, and today operated as a commercial attraction. This video shows the cultural values and natural beauty of historical Horse Pens 40. Teacher Guide for Horse Pens 40 show
26. Red Hills Salamander. This video follows a team of research scientists as they go on an actual search for the Red Hills salamander and examine the ecological significance of this threatened species. Private landowners, along with wildlife officials, develop strategies to conserve the salamanders’ habitat. Teacher Guide for Red Hills Salamander show
25. Wildlife History. Our nation is rooted in a rich, natural heritage that helped define our national identity. Central to this heritage is the history of our society’s changing relationship with wildlife. This video gives an overview of Alabama’s role as a national leader in wildlife conservation and restoration. Teacher Guide for Wildlife History show
24. Village Creek. The video traces the history of Village Creek and examines how careful urban planning can help maintain a high quality of life in cities and prevent environmental degradation. Teacher Guide for Village Creek show
23. Sipsey Wilderness. Dr. Phillips takes the viewer through the Sipsey Wilderness and recalls the influence of nineteenth-century romanticism and the emergence of a national movement for the preservation of America’s wilderness regions. Teacher Guide for Sipsey Wilderness show
22. Black Warrior River. The river’s name was taken from the Native American Chief Taskalusa (meaning black warrior) who encountered the De Soto expedition in 1540. This video recalls the history of the Black Warrior River from the time of early human settlement to the present. Special focus is given to the river’s changing status since the construction of a series of dams and locks completed earlier this century. Teacher Guide for Black Warrior River show
21. Dauphin Island. This video presents both the natural and the human history of Dauphin Island and describes the forces of geologic change to barrier islands. The show concludes by looking at environmental changes occurring on the island caused by growth and development and examines ways to manage such activities to benefit the island’s natural future. Teacher Guide for Dauphin Island show
20. Alabama Forests. Alabama is one of the most forested regions in the world. The forest is a setting in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, soil, water, wildlife, plants and trees. These all work together to form a self-perpetuating natural community, or ecosystem. Teacher Guide for Alabama Forests show
19. A Walk in the Woods. As fields, streams, and woods are slowly replaced by shopping centers and parking lots, Dr. Phillips takes us on a walk in the woods to encounter nature on a fundamental level. Throughout the program, quotations from famous Native Americans remind us that our natural environment is the basis of life. Teacher Guide for A Walk in the Woods show
18. Cahaba River Watershed. This video is the second of the Discovering Alabama series featuring the Cahaba River. In it, Dr. Phillips explores the full length of the Cahaba and examines the relationship between river conditions and changes in the watershed. The program gives special attention to rain-dispersed, or non-point, sources of pollution. Teacher Guide for Cahaba River Watershed show
17. Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. This video features the life history and the environmental controversies surrounding the red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides Borealis), an endangered species that lives in Alabama. Issues discussed include the prevailing conflict between commercial timber interests and the interests of environmental preservationists. Teacher Guide for Red-Cockaded Woodpecker show
16. Geological History of Alabama. Since the eighteenth-century, geologists have been attracted to Alabama because of the region’s diverse geology. This video overviews the geological history of Alabama in context with the major geological eras of the earth’s development and its corresponding fossil record. Teacher Guide for Geological History of Alabama show
15. Alabama’s Natural Diversity. High-growth urban areas of our nation often generate noise, pollution, crime, and stress. In comparison, Alabama’s rural landscape offers its citizens respite and a sense of belonging to the earth and its riches. Alabama’s great variety of terrain, wild habitats, native plants and animals rank it among the most naturally diverse in the nation. Teacher Guide for Alabama's Natural Diversity show
14. Moundville. Dr. Phillips visits Moundville Archaeological Park, famous village site of the mound-building Indian culture of the prehistoric Mississippian Period that lasted from about A.D. 1000-1550. The program examines the symbols, beliefs, and lifeways of this once dominant culture and traces two centuries of study in an attempt to understand these early Americans and the significance of their earthen mounds. Teacher Guide for Moundville show
13. Locust Fork River. In recent times, Locust Fork River has gained attention for its beauty. Unfortunately, this attention also poses environmental threats to the river. On a sentimental journey back to the site of his childhood home, Dr. Phillips tells the viewer of the river’s past and discusses its future. Teacher Guide for Locust Fork River show
12. Oak Mountain State Park. This park, more than 10,000 acres in size, is Alabama’s largest. It is also only minutes away from Birmingham, and Dr. Phillips contrasts the harried atmosphere of the city to the peaceful forested ridges, valleys, streams, and abundant wildlife of the park. “Classic Pilot Program”
11. Caves of Alabama. Alabama has almost 3,000 caves. Dr. Phillips takes viewers on an actual exploration of an unmapped cave in northern Alabama. Along the way he discusses how caves are formed, the diversity of geological and biological features that occur in caves, and the history and location of Alabama caves. “Classic Pilot Program”
10. Little River Canyon. The show opens with a re-creation of Union soldiers encountering the deep, impassable Little River Canyon as Confederate soldiers close in pursuit. Along the seventy-mile hike of the length of Little River, Dr. Phillips points out the various features of the area and recounts points of local history. “Classic Pilot Program”
9. Tannehill Historical Park. Dr. Phillips presents Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park and its displays of buildings, tools, and artifacts dating from the early European settlements to the first iron manufacturer in Alabama. He explores the park’s “living history” classroom and discusses with craftsmen the reconstruction of historical log cabins. “Classic Pilot Program”
8. Coastal Alabama Part 2: Environmental Issues. This video highlights a range of primary environmental issues as Dr. Phillips revisits the area to examine the leading causes of environmental change. Local experts add their perspectives on farming, forestry, commercial fishing, and the overall growth and development of Alabama’s coastal areas. “Classic Pilot Program”
7. Coastal Alabama Part 1: Natural Diversity. Although relatively small in size, the state’s coastal area is diverse in natural qualities: rivers, bays, swamps, marshes, and beaches, as well as resident plant and animal species. Dr. Phillips is joined by local naturalists and wildlife officials in a tour of the region. “Classic Pilot Program”
6. Guntersville State Park. Few places can match this park for its mountain lake setting. Dr. Phillips gives particular emphasis to the potential of the area to recover the endangered bald eagle. He also joins a group of children on a nature walk and discusses the importance of environmental education for America’s youth. “Classic Pilot Program”
5. Talladega National Forest: Oakmulgee Division. Dr. Phillips sets out from his farm in Tuscaloosa County and takes viewers on an interpretative walk across the Oakmulgee to Payne Lake. Along the way, he examines a variety of plants and animals that live in the area and discusses the importance of maintaining Alabama’s natural areas. “Classic Pilot Program”
4. Southeast Alabama: Wiregrass Region. Often overlooked, this area of Alabama is rich in natural qualities including caves and sinkholes. Our host explores these unique features in historical, as well as biological contexts, and also visits the Conecuh National Forest. “Classic Pilot Program”
3. Cahaba River. The Cahaba River is one of the most ecologically diverse rivers in the South and is home to the rare Cahaba lily. Dr. Phillips discusses the river’s many features, as well as concerns about environmental changes to the Cahaba. “Classic Pilot Program”
2. Cheaha Mountain: Talladega National Forest. Containing the southernmost reaches of the Appalachian Mountains, the Talladega Division of the National Forest includes the state’s highest peak, Cheaha Mountain, at 2,420 feet. Our host hikes the Chinnabee Silent Trail and describes the local history of the area. “Classic Pilot Program”
Emmy® award winning public television since 1985.