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WKAR Partners with Award-Winning Science Series NOVA as part of “Climate Across America” Initiative

March 17, 2023

WKARWKAR Public Media (East Lansing) has partnered with the award-winning PBS science series NOVA, a production of GBH, to produce and distribute multiplatform, climate-focused content as part of the series’ national Climate Across America initiative. Leveraging the reach and power of the PBS system—with major support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the initiative will spotlight how climate change affects communities across the U.S. and engage audiences in productive conversations about innovative climate solutions. WKAR is one of 10 public media stations working closely with NOVA to create, share, and amplify solutions-oriented climate content including short-form videos, radio/audio stories, articles, e-newsletters, and social media posts. Climate Across America content will roll out in spring 2023.

“Climate change is a global problem, but the varied impacts are felt at a local level,” said NOVA Co-Executive Producer Chris Schmidt. “This timely initiative provides an opportunity to shine a light on the impacts of climate change in communities across America, and to engage audiences in conversations about innovative solutions. We hope these stories will serve as inspiring and hopeful examples to others.”

Three local schools are participating in the initiative through NOVA Science Studio (NSS), NOVA’s youth program dedicated to teaching science journalism, digital media literacy, and video production to high school students. NOVA is launching the NSS program in collaboration with WHRO (Norfolk, VA) and WKAR (Lansing, MI), working with the three schools in each region. Over the course of six months, students at each site will develop their reporting skills as they investigate local impacts of climate change and how their communities are adapting to or mitigating these impacts.

The local schools participating are Sexton High School in Lansing, Ovid-Elsie High School, and Davison High School. NOVA and WKAR producers and production professionals work with the students regularly as they create short digital segments for consideration to be released nationally by NOVA and WKAR.

“NOVA’s Climate Across America initiative gives WKAR the opportunity to put a spotlight on our state and region,” said Julie Sochay, senior director of content and communications at WKAR. “Climate is an important topic for our region and for our local high school students. We look forward to sharing the digital content created through this initiative, with our local, state, and national audience.”

“The mounting impacts of climate change are among the greatest challenges our society will face in the next century,” said NOVA Co-Executive Producer Julia Cort. “Through these collaborations, we’re excited to help the next generation of science communicators better understand the impact of climate decisions happening in their own communities and how they will shape their futures.”

Timed with the locally produced content, NOVA will premiere two documentaries nationally as part of the initiative: "Weathering the Future," premiering Wednesday, April 12, and "Chasing Carbon Zero," premiering Wednesday, April 26, both at 9 pm ET/8C on PBS and streaming at, on NOVA’s YouTube channel, and via the PBS App.

Audiences can follow the initiative online starting April 10, using the hashtag #ClimateAcrossAmerica.

Climate Across America is part of NOVA’s Science and Society Project, with major support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The project is dedicated to telling stories at the intersection of science and society—stories that provide exceptional opportunities for audience engagement around the role of science and technology in our lives. In addition to NOVA partnering with 10 public media stations to produce localized multiplatform content and regional screenings, NOVA Education will provide an outreach toolkit for stations and communities throughout the U.S. to host their own events beginning this spring.

The full list of Climate Across America local station partners includes WHRO (Norfolk, VA), Nebraska Public Media (Lincoln, NE), WKAR (Lansing, MI), KPBS (San Diego, CA), Rocky Mountain PBS (Denver, CO), Alaska Public Media (Anchorage, AK), WFSU (Tallahassee, FL), Vermont Public (Colchester, VT), PBS North (Duluth, MN), and Northwest Public Broadcasting (Pullman, WA).

NOVA is the most popular primetime science series on American television, demystifying the scientific and technological concepts that shape and define our lives, our planet, and our universe. The PBS series is also one of the most widely distributed science programs around the world, and is a multimedia, multiplatform brand reaching more than 55 million Americans every year on TV and online. Executive Producers for NOVA are Julia Cort and Chris Schmidt. NOVA is a production of GBH.

Major funding for "Weathering the Future" and the Climate Across America Science and Society Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the GBH Planet Future Fund.

"Chasing Carbon Zero" is funded, in part, by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

Funding for NOVA is provided by the NOVA Science Trust, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.

Climate Across America is part of a multiyear, multiplatform initiative from PBS that explores every aspect of how climate change impacts communities, countries, and the entire planet. The comprehensive focus represents PBS’s biggest-ever commitment to the topic, providing a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding climate change and exploring its intersections with conservation, biodiversity and the ecosystem. PBS and its member stations will create a rich destination of storytelling that details the challenges of a changing climate, while highlighting examples of hope and positive impact.

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