Messing with Nature 

is a half-hour television series that redefines nature/science programming. Imagine Alton Brown (Good Eats, Iron Chef America) hosting the BBC's Planet Earth with a bit of Monty Python thrown in. Understanding the natural world, how its many parts link together and how they change over time, is a critical step toward making sound decisions about conserving and using natural resources. Future episodes will tell stories about living things and their histories, from bacteria to whales; how and where they live, how they affect us, and we them, and how we find out about them.

 

The first two episodes premiered on Public Broadcasting affiliate WLRN Channel 17 Miami/South Florida in March 2011.

Funding is currently sought for additional episodes, including (working titles) Animal? Mineral? Vegetable? I'm all three! which explains what corals are; Klaatu barada kudzu, on invasive species; Ice Ages through the Microscope, on how the shells of dead microscopic plankton reveal secrets of Earth's ancient climates; Rats and Runways, on model organisms, and The Sea Lily and the Porcupine, on the discovery of life in the deep sea.

Click on the images to view the videos on Vimeo.

Image of host Charles G Messing holding a crinoid, from episode 1
The four performers in the Maltese Aquifer episode of Messng with Nature recreating a scece from the Maltese Falcon.

Episode 1: Let’s See What’s Out There 
Does current nature programming (“man-eating sharks, woman-eating crocodiles, poisonous snakes and spiders”) accurately reflect our planet’s biodiversity? What if we’re not even close to discovering all the different species living on earth? If that’s so, just how do scientists go about describing new species?

Episode 2: The Maltese Aquifer
Have you lost an island? Need some Mesozoic ambiance? Are your newly-built homes vanishing? Consulting paleontologist Nick Diamond is your man. This new twist on a classic film noir explains Florida’s fossil and geological history, while derailing the space-time continuum between the present, the past, and a run-down office in a seedy part of town.

CONTACT INFORMATION

[Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences]

[Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography]

Nova Southeastern University

8000 N Ocean Drive

Dania Beach FL 33004

EMAIL: messingc@nova.edu OR messingchas@gmail.com

OFFICE TEL.: (954) 262-3658