PBS Raises the Curtains for American Field Guide -- An Unprecedented Online Resource for Lovers of the Outdoors

Posted by PBS Publicity on

More than 1,000 Video Clips From Local Public Television Stations Spanning the Country Offer the Wilderness at Your Fingertips

ALEXANDRIA, VA - October 3, 2001 - The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) announce the launch of the AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE Web site (www.PBS.org/afg/).

This unparalleled initiative draws on the rich video libraries of local public television stations, bringing users searchable access to more than 1,000 online video clips comprising 150 hours of outdoors productions. This content -- available together for the first time ever -- ranges from cliff-climbing in Maine to an intriguing look at the life of wolves in Yellowstone. An extensive resource area for educators complements the easy-to-use site.

Nearly 30 local public television stations collaborated to provide captivating outdoor video content, representing all 50 states.

The AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE site is designed to help users find online video effectively and quickly. Content is indexed by these categories: Animals, Ecosystems, Human History, Livelihoods, Earth & Space, Plants, Public Policy and Recreation, with subcategories in each.

Users can specify a search by entering keywords or selecting from among the designated categories. A sophisticated search engine supplied by Virage, Inc., a leading provider of videostreaming services, searches the video transcripts to return lists of relevant video clips accompanied by text, and links to additional materials on the Web.

From following kayakers down Washington state's White Salmon River to meeting the naturalist who documented more than 300 species of plants and flowers at Kentucky's famous Mammoth Cave -- users will discover a wealth of relevant, exciting content.

AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE is also a comprehensive resource for educators and students. Embedded within the site are lesson plans weaving segments of video together around specific topics of inquiry. Educators using national and state standards for science learning contributed the lessons.

"The AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE marks an important step for PBS and its member stations as we move towards integrated digital distribution," said Cindy Johanson, senior vice president, PBS Interactive. "Local PBS stations are positioned to deliver unique value and perspectives. This opportunity significantly builds upon the relationship between PBS and its stations and enables us to showcase an enhanced and interactive viewing experience to more audiences."

"This is not a dot.com dream. It's public television," added Jack Galmiche, executive vice president of Oregon Public Broadcasting. "It's a living, breathing encyclopedia open to everyone and brings the credibility and reliability viewers and educators expect from public television. AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE gathers together streaming video subject matter that will build a healthy library of cleared materials, becoming a destination point for educators and lifelong learners over and over again. It's a chance to bring excellent local content into the national arena."

AMERICAN FIELD GUIDE contributing public television stations include:

  • KAET - Tempe, AZ
  • KAID - Boise, ID
  • KDIN - Des Moines, IA
  • KETS - Little Rock, AK
  • KNPB - Reno, NV
  • KOPB - Portland, OR
  • KPBS - San Diego, CA
  • KRWG - Las Cruces, NM
  • KTOO - Juneau, AK
  • KUAT - Tucson, AZ
  • KUFM - Missoula, MT
  • KUHT - Houston, TX
  • KUON - Lincoln, NE
  • KYVE - Yakima, WA
  • WBIQ - Birmingham, AL
  • Maine PBS - Lewiston, ME
  • WCVE - Richmond, VA
  • WDSE - Duluth, MN
  • WETK - Colchester, VT
  • WFSU - Tallahassee, FL
  • WFYI - Indianapolis, IN
  • WKGB - Lexington, KY
  • WMPB - Owings Mills, MD
  • WMVS - Milwaukee, WI
  • WNJT - Trenton, NJ
  • WPBT - Miami, FL
  • WPSX - University Park, PA
  • WRLK - Columbia, SC

About OPB
Oregon Public Broadcasting is one of the major providers of programs for the PBS national primetime schedule. OPB produces a variety of freestanding documentary specials and series, as well as specials for Frontline, Nova and The American Experience. OPB has an established reputation for penetrating investigative reporting on a wide range of issues in society and the natural world, and specializes in such genres as critical events and contemporary history, business/technology, travel and exploration and science.
OPB has produced major Web sites for PBS.org as well as enhanced TV prototypes, books, companion radio documentaries and extensive promotion and outreach campaigns for PBS primetime programs. OPB has also licensed its programs in 29 countries throughout the world.

About PBS
PBS.org, PBS's award-winning site on the World Wide Web, produces high-quality Web programming as it pioneers the convergence of television and the Internet. PBS.org features more than 135,000 pages of content as well as companion Web sites for more than 450 PBS programs and specials. In January 2000, Yahoo! put PBS.org at the top of its list of the best Web sites of all time. PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 346 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.


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Kevin Dando

Selena Lauterer