CORVALLIS – Columbia University has awarded Oregon Public Broadcasting a 2009 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for its Oregon Field Guide special, “The Silent Invasion.”
The documentary illustrates how invasive species are changing the environment in Oregon. It was produced by OPB in partnership with Oregon Sea Grant, which is based at Oregon State University, and by other organizations.
The award is considered the broadcast journalism equivalent of a Pulitzer Prize.
Sea Grant Extension aquatic invasive species specialist Samuel Chan and graduate student Gwenn Kubeck served as technical advisers and content sources for portions of the production. OSU’s Chan led a team to China that “fully integrated OPB’s producer Ed Jahn and videographer Nick Fisher as members along on an exploratory research visit,” he said.
Their experience of the interconnected global nature of invasive species figures prominently in the documentary, according to Jeff Douglas, OPB’s senior vice president and station manager.
“The research Gwenn and Sam did into public awareness about the issue of invasives and what messages motivate the public to take action were important contributions to how OPB crafted the documentary,” Douglas said. “Not only did that information help us decide which stories to tell but also gave us insight into what would motivate viewers to get involved after watching the program.”
“The Silent Invasion” premiered on OPB in April 2008 and marked the kickoff of the "Stop the Invasion" campaign, which encourages community partners and citizens to collaborate in their efforts against invasive species. Before the premiere, public preview presentations on the OSU campus in Corvallis and at the university’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport were organized jointly with Oregon Sea Grant.
For more information on the campaign, visit http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/themes/invasives/index.html.