The Platte Basin Timelapse Project enters its fourth year this summer. During the past three years we’ve successfully installed more than 40 remote timelapse systems from the headwaters of the Platte River in Colorado to its confluence with the Missouri River in Nebraska (solving countless technical challenges along the way). To date our cameras have gathered more than half a million photos across this incredible 90,000 square-mile watershed.
July marks the start of the next project phase: building context around and expanding the reach of this visual database to scientists, educators and the public. We’re working on a web-based image explorer that will allow users and students to search, sort, and catalogue our complete image dataset, then build their own timelapse sequences with matching water and weather data. We’re also collaborating with science curriculum developers to bring media and stories from the Platte Basin Timelapse project into classrooms.
But one primary focus in the years ahead is launching a major effort to tell the stories around water in the Platte River Basin.
To that end, we recently hired a full-time journalist. Ariana Brocious, known to many Nebraskans as the host of NPR’s Morning Edition on NET Radio, joins the PBT team in July. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she’s spent the past several years reporting on natural resource, environment and science issues in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska. For PBT, she’ll produce audio and video news features and articles, as well as lead the creation of digital multimedia stories that provide context for our timelapse imagery.
Brocious joins PBT’s web producer Steven Speicher and production associate Peter Stegen, as well as co-founders conservation photographer Michael Forsberg and veteran public television documentarian Michael Farrell. During the next few years, through still and timelapse photography, video, audio, and interactive graphics and maps, the PBT team will examine the growing and competing demands of water in agriculture, municipalities, power generation, recreation, and wildlife in this pivotal watershed, culminating in a national quality public television documentary. Together the team will tell the stories of the various people, places and issues in the basin and bring its complex geography to life.