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Natural Resources & Energy

A University of Wyoming graduate student has created a docuseries focusing on environmental change

drought cracked soil
wle.cgiar.org

"A Changing Frontier" is a mini docuseries created by former University of Wyoming graduate student Taryn Bradley that focuses on the effects of environmental and climate change in the Rocky Mountain West and Midwest. So far, there have been four episodes, each featuring a different individual, couple, or group that has experienced the impacts of environmental and climate change in their lives.

Bradley initially created "A Changing Frontier" as part of her master’s degree thesis.

“I think a lot of people have a lot of great testimonies when it comes to how environmental change affects their livelihood, how it affects their hobbies, their outdoor activities and things like that,” she explained. “The goal and how I kind of really came up with this project was kind of coupled with my passion for the environment and for nature and also kind of wanting to communicate that with the rest of Wyoming in this case or even the Midwest or Rocky Mountain West.”

Each of the episodes, which were filmed earlier this year, feature those who have stories of being impacted first-hand by the changes in environment or climate. Subjects include Brian Dimoff, a small business owner, gunsmith and veteran, Tom Zimmer, a professor at Wyoming Catholic College, Penny and Cal Howe, ranchers from Northern Colorado, and Rachel Watson, a competitive skier, and a coach for the Nordic Ski Team at UW.

“The different episodes feature different individuals who talk about different impacts and different changes that they’re noticing, so some people talk more specifically about warmer temperatures and warmer temperatures are affecting things that they love to do like skiing or ranching,” Bradley explained.

She added that "A Changing Frontier" sought to portray environmental and climate change in a way that is different from how it’s often portrayed in the media. This has been done by focusing more on individual impacts and how it's being felt in Wyoming and regionally with less focus on the causes. This means focusing more on issues that affect this region, such as drought and less about the melting of polar ice caps for instance.

“When it comes to regions like the Rocky Mountain West or the West, we don’t always immediately see those environmental impacts, or we don’t always think of that and connect to environmental change,” she said.

Bradley said the response to her series has been positive, which has encouraged her to do more with it in the future. Though the series’ immediate future may be uncertain, she is still taking submissions through "A Changing Frontier’s" website for those who are interested in sharing their stories.

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