Discovering Alabama

The story Discovering Alabama and how Dr. Doug Phillips became the face for the state’s natural wonders began in the 1970s when he was working on a graduate degree in educational research at the University of Alabama. During that time, he pioneered the earliest outdoor and environmental education camps in the state. By the 1980s, Phillips began working with schools to develop several of Alabama’s earliest environmental curricula which created Discovering Alabama. Each episode of Discovering Alabama offers a unique voice that interweaves the host’s love of nature and history with explanations of why it’s critical to protect the environment.

1985-05-01 09:39:47

Cheaha Mountain: Talladega National Forest

Containing the southernmost reaches of the Appalachian Mountains, the Talladega Division of the National Forest includes the state’s highest peak, Cheaha Mountain, at 2,420 feet. Our host hikes the Chinnabee Silent Trail and describes the local history of the area. “Classic Pilot Program”

1985-07-01 09:39:47

Little River Canyon

The show opens with a re-creation of Union soldiers encountering the deep, impassable Little River Canyon as Confederate soldiers close in pursuit. Along the seventy-mile hike of the length of Little River, Dr. Phillips points out the various features of the area and recounts points of local history.

1986-11-01 15:57:02

Southeast Alabama: Wiregrass Region

Often overlooked, this area of Alabama is rich in natural qualities including caves and sinkholes. Our host explores these unique features in historical, as well as biological contexts, and also visits the Conecuh National Forest. “Classic Pilot Program”

1986-11-01 15:57:02

Caves of Alabama

Alabama has almost 3,000 caves. Dr. Phillips takes viewers on an actual exploration of an unmapped cave in northern Alabama. Along the way he discusses how caves are formed, the diversity of geological and biological features that occur in caves, and the history and location of Alabama caves. “Classic Pilot Program”

1987-11-02 15:57:02

Talladega National Forest: Oakmulgee Division

Dr. Phillips sets out from his farm in Tuscaloosa County and takes viewers on an interpretative walk across the Oakmulgee to Payne Lake. Along the way, he examines a variety of plants and animals that live in the area and discusses the importance of maintaining Alabama’s natural areas. “Classic Pilot Program”

1987-11-02 15:57:02

Oak Mountain State Park

This park, more than 10,000 acres in size, is Alabama’s largest. It is also only minutes away from Birmingham, and Dr. Phillips contrasts the harried atmosphere of the city to the peaceful forested ridges, valleys, streams, and abundant wildlife of the park. “Classic Pilot Program”

1988-06-01 10:07:50

Coastal Alabama Part 2 - Environmental Issues

This video highlights a range of primary environmental issues as Dr. Phillips revisits the area to examine the leading causes of environmental change. Local experts add their perspectives on farming, forestry, commercial fishing, and the overall growth and development of Alabama’s coastal areas. “Classic Pilot Program”

1988-11-01 15:57:02

Coastal Alabama Part 1 - Natural Diversity

Although relatively small in size, the state’s coastal area is diverse in natural qualities: rivers, bays, swamps, marshes, and beaches, as well as resident plant and animal species. Dr. Phillips is joined by local naturalists and wildlife officials in a tour of the region. “Classic Pilot Program”

1988-11-01 15:57:02

Tannehill Historical State Park

Dr. Phillips presents Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park and its displays of buildings, tools, and artifacts dating from the early European settlements to the first iron manufacturer in Alabama. He explores the park’s “living history” classroom and discusses with craftsmen the reconstruction of historical log cabins. “Classic Pilot Program”

1995-11-01 15:57:02

Alabama's Natural Diversity

Alabama often has been viewed as a state that is behind, a backwoods region lacking the sophistication of more urbanized, progressive places. But today, it is apparent that many high-growth urban areas have become synonymous with a stressful life-style—24-hour-a-day noise, traffic congestion, noxious pollution, record crime rates, and all the other problems that come with sprawling development and the loss of natural surroundings. In comparison with these more urban regions, Alabama’s abundant wildlands no longer cause the state to be viewed as a cultural backwater.

Discovering Alabama

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