Beginning in winter 2016, Nature Flicks will be an online series of edited video shorts highlighting nature in Vermont and throughout New England. Purposely modest in scale, this video blog series will attempt to capture moments in time in various locations: national forests, state parks, preserves, private land. and waterways. We intend to begin documenting the region’s nature and cataloging videos by subject and by habitat type for future use by educators and nature enthusiasts of all kinds.
In a 2009 study on the effects of nature documentaries on students’ environmental sensitivity, it was discovered that while traditional nature documentaries have a positive effect on students’ sensitivity, the non-verbal, less conventional documentary is more effective in the development of environmental knowledge and feelings about [subjects]. However, the non-conventional approach is equally effective in the change in attitudes and beliefs as the verbal, “traditional” one. To further test this research, Nature Flicks will at times be experimenting with non-narrated and/or non-music-accompanied works. Portrayal of the environment with only its present natural sounds is one attempt to capture the sense of place unencumbered by “human presence.” These examples will be partnered with video still images and corresponding educational descriptions. At other times, Nature Flicks will employ a typical narrative structure. We will be curious to learn from you, our site visitors, which approach is more effective as an online learning tool, so please comment! As you learn about our region’s natural world, your input will help others learn through incorporated feedback. Our hope is that these short and simple presentations of the natural world will entice viewers to get outside and connect with the environment – to look deeper and perhaps see their surrounding landscape with fresh eyes and renewed curiosity.