Natural Connections Series
The principle of keystone species proves the interconnectedness of the living world.
Zoologist Bob Paine has conducted experiments on a small island off the Washington coast for over 30 years in one of the longest ongoing studies of a single area by the same scientist.
Directed by Sharon Howard and Mike Rosen
Produced by Howard Rosen Productions
Design Director: Greg Pecknold, Flying Spot
Original Music: Steven Ray Allen
Narrated by Peter Coyote
His experiment on the connection between starfish and mussels has resulted in one of the most important principles of modern ecology, known as "keystone species". Paine showed that certain species are critically important to the balance of particular ecosystems. The loss of a keystone species can have a devastating impact on that ecosystem's biodiversity.
Humans impact the biodiversity of the world more than any other creature. We are the ultimate keystone species. Thus we have a larger responsibility towards the world around us.
Other programs in the series are:
Introduction to Biodiversity - The concept of biological diversity and its importance to humans.
The Significance of Salmon - Salmon and people both need clean water to survive. Can we make the connection?
Forests, Biodiversity and You - Can forests retain their productivity and biodiversity? Consuming less ourselves is key.
Biodiversity vs. Extinction - Mass extinction of species can be stopped if we understand the importance of biodiversity.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 1999
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-427-3
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-844-8
"Astonishingly beautiful documentary...With gorgeous photography, straightforward writing and enthusiastic participation by scientists who don't come off as pedants...a wake-up call that is riveting and startling, but, more important, congenial, considerate and convincing."
"A beautifully produced and effective piece."
Edward O. Wilson, Honorary Curator of Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, and author of Biophilia and The Diversity of Life
"This video...is an invaluable teaching tool. There are dozens of films on the market that address the environmental and biodiversity problems we are currently facing. Natural Connections may have an edge because it will appeal to all age groups. Highly recommended for public, school and college libraries."
Barb Butler, Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, MC Journal
"Superb photography, eloquent narration, and stirring interviews with biologists combine to make this Emmy Award winner perhaps the best video I have ever seen to make the case for the preservation of biodiversity. This dramatic video should be required viewing for all students teachers, parents, politicians, business leaders, consumers...Most highly recommended for viewers from about grade 6 or 7 through adults. Schools, nature centers, camps, and even individuals will value this video."
Dan R. Kunkle, Wildlife Activist Magazine
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"Riveting and startling, but, more important, congenial, considerate and convincing." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Awards and Festivals
5 Emmy Awards
Gold Hugo, Chicago International Television Competition
Best of Category , Best Educational Value, Best Scientific Content and Best Conservation Message, International Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula
UNESCO Silver Medal, The New York Festivals
Best of Category, EarthVision Environmental Film & Video Festival
Best Graphic Design, International Monitor Awards
Bronze Anvil Award, Public Relations Society of America
Equinox Environmental Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Olympia Environmental Film Festival
Oceans and Coasts
|The God Squad and the Case of the Northern Spotted Owl|
A rare, behind-the-scenes look at the way politics shape environmental policy.
The Intertidal Zone
Ecology of the ecological zone between the tides.
Preserving the balance of dynamic ecosystems.
Putting the role of human beings in the biosphere back into proper perspective.
... more Reviews
"A lovely piece of work. Excellent production values and interesting vignettes help to make several concepts in conservation and biodiversity very real and immediate...Could be used quite effectively in secondary schools or lower division biology or ecology classes as an introduction to issues of biodiversity, the interconnectedness of the natural world, and the critical need for conservation. All of the scientists interviewed are articulate and interesting...Individual vignettes and stories could be used separately in more advanced classes or where class time is very short."
Michael Renner, Professor of Animal Behavior, West Chester University