Wagner created four 4-6 minute videos documenting a mix of scientific projects and recent discoveries in Petrified Forest National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. To create the source material for each of these stories, Wagner and two SCPN writer/editors travelled to the parks—visiting field sites, interviewing park staff and researchers, and exploring rare maps, fossils, pottery and arrowheads in park archival collections.
Series: SCPN-NAU School of Communication Collaboration
- 6 minutes, 8 seconds
The chance rediscovery in Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) of an early 1900s dataset used to create the park’s first vegetation map led to a rare opportunity to examine forest change in the park since 1935. In 2004, ecologist John Vankat led an effort to resample the historical plots, and shares his conclusions about forest development and the wide range of ecological conditions characterizing GRCA ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, and spruce-fir forests.
- 4 minutes, 42 seconds
In 2011, Petrified Forest National Park acquired more than 26,000 acres of land which were expected to yield a significant number of archeological sites new to science. The results of informal surveys in 2012 far exceeded expectations. Every time archeologist Bill Reitze went out to these new areas of the park, he would discover something new, including magnificent petroglyph panels and extensive pueblo sites.
- 4 minutes, 49 seconds
The long-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia wislizenii) is a large lizard, with an adult body length about 5 ½ inches long and a tail that can be twice as long as the body. It inhabits desert scrub and semi-arid grasslands and, in Arizona, is found throughout the southern and western portions of the state, as well as in the northeastern plateau region. In 2012 researchers discovered it at Petrified Forest National Park, the lizard’s first documented occurrence in the park.
- 4 minutes, 41 seconds
In 2004 at Petrified Forest National Park paleontologist Bill Parker discovered a graveyard, or quarry, of the bones of a crocodile-like creature that lived about 215 million years ago. In 2006 he found the first nearly complete Revueltosaurus callenderi skeleton. By 2012 they had found eleven individuals, including one well-preserved skeleton that provided some of the previously missing pieces.
The 2012 SCPN-NAU School of Communication partnership took the form of a fall semester internship for NAU student, Kent Wagner.