Texas Tech University

Weindorf to Present Documentary Excerpts for U.N. Climate Change Conference

George Watson

November 2, 2016


“Between Earth and Sky” excerpts will be shown at the Council on the Parties international climate talks this month in Morocco.

David Weindorf

Texas Tech researcher David Weindorf has been invited to Morocco later this month to present excerpts from his recent documentary examining climate change in the Alaskan frontier.

Weindorf, the associate dean of research in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and the BL Allen Endowed Chairman of Pedology in the Department of Plant & Soil Science, is the executive director of the documentary “Between Earth and Sky,” by Paul Allen Hunton of KTTZ-TV Texas Tech Public Media.

The excerpts will be shown as part of the Council of the Parties (COP22) international climate talks Nov. 7-18 in Marrakech, Morocco. The feature-length film, which evolved from the work of University of Alaska-Fairbanks researcher Chien-Lu Ping, explores global climate change through soil sciences, using footage of the Alaskan wilderness and coastline to illustrate the growing effects of climate change on the arctic soils and ecosystems of Alaska.

“What began as a modest attempt to archive Dr. Ping's brilliant work is now a cinematic-quality, research-based film that provides an excellent example of tangible steps the United States is taking to educate people worldwide about the importance of environmental stewardship,” Weindorf said. “I couldn't be more honored to share this film – and the research – with the esteemed attendees at COP22 later this month.”

Weindorf was nominated for the honor by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Climate Change Program Office and invited by the U.S. State Department. The full film is expected to be released in early 2017.

Katharine Hayhoe

Also featured in the film is Texas Tech Climate Science Center director Katharine Hayhoe, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and one of the country's foremost authorities on climate change. Eventually other scientists began contributing their expertise and findings, leading to a feature-length documentary.

“We as humans have never conducted an experiment with this planet, like we are with climate change,” said Hayhoe, who recently appeared with President Barack Obama and actor Leonardo DiCaprio during a climate change discussion on the south lawn of the White House.

Other presenters at the Arctic event include Stephen Vavrus of the University of Wisconsin, a NASA scientist utilizing NASA's hyperwall; and Karen Florini, the deputy special envoy for climate change at the State Department.

Production of the film is complete, in addition to three trailers available at www.betweenearthandskymovie.com. It will be offered to multiple media platforms, including PBS stations across the country, in 2017.

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