In “Crisis: Planet Earth,” NASA scientists discuss efforts to combat global warming. “Into the Depths” follows studies of aquatic life in Lake Superior. Also examined: measuring Earth's temperature; and how the Great Lakes clean themselves. Host: Bill Kurtis.
Documenting the efforts of an antiques dealer to prove the authenticity of objects he claims to be the art of the Masai people. Included: the roles of medicine men; threats to the Masai's traditional lifestyle. Bill Kurtis hosts.
"The Mystery of Machu Picchu" chronicles a Peruvian expedition to explore the origins of the lost city of the Incas, an elaborate mountaintop ruin discovered in 1911 on the western coast of South America. Two scientists and an amateur archaeologist share their intrepretations. Host: producer Bill Kurtis.
A profile of Dr. Mae Jemison, who became the first black woman in space as a member of the 1992 Endeavour shuttle mission. Included: Jemison's "frog-embryology experiment" testing gravity's effect on fertilization.
A gentle approach to domesticating wild horses is demonstrated by two cowboys, called “horse whisperers,” whose methods eliminate violence from the process. Included: dramatic footage of wild mustangs on the run in the Nevada foothills.
"Why Is This Dolphin Smiling?" To find out, scientist Randy Brill conducts research on how the mammals communicate; and how they use echolocation to judge distance and identify objects. Host: Bill Kurtis.
A profile of Dr. Mark Plotkin, "A Twentieth Century Medicine Man" living among the Tirio Indians in the Amazon. He observes how they use plants to heal and collects samples to be tested at the National Cancer Institute.
"Creating an Ocean" examines the efforts involved in making an oceanarium for Chicago's John G. Shedd Aquarium. Included: the adoption of penguins from a Scotland zoo; comments from Jim Robinett, curator of marine mammals at Shedd.
"Are the Great Lakes cleaning themselves?" To find out, scientists investigate the presence of marine life at the bottom of Lake Superior (which contains 10 percent of the world's fresh surface water). Host: Bill Kurtis.
In 1991's "Crisis: Planet Earth," scientists discuss efforts to combat global warming. Also: 1992's "Rivers of Fire" follows a volcanologist in Hawaii, where lava emitted from the Kilauea volcano may help predict future eruptions. Host: Bill Kurtis.
"The Beauty of the Beast" studies the grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. "Why Is This Dolphin Smiling?" examines research on how the mammals communicate. Included: hibernation, predation and mating habits of the grizzly; tests on a tranquilized polar bear.
Following scientists as they examine a deadly virus that caused deaths in the Southwest in 1993 before it was identified as a hantavirus. Included: a visit to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Bill Kurtis hosts.
Exploring new rehabilitation techniques in treating traumatic brain and spinal-cord injuries. The program follows the recovery of three patients at a Chicago rehab institute, and examines studies on paralysis being done at a Miami hospital. Included: pets used in therapy.
Examining how the leak that caused "The Great Chicago Flood" of 1992 was repaired. Also: a "Dive into Darkness" to explore undersea caves in the Bahamas with biologist Jill Yager. Included: footage of the feeding of sharks. Host: Bill Kurtis.
Advances in computer technology are examined in 1991's "In a Galaxy Far, Far Away" and 1992's "The New Language of Science." Included: computer-graphics artist Bob Drebin, scientist Larry Smarr. Host: Bill Kurtis.
"Test Tube Zoo" examines efforts by Betsy Dresser of the Cincinnati Zoo and other experts to save endangered wildlife. Included: artificial insemination, embryo transfer and in vitro fertilization. Host: Bill Kurtis.
"Super Seeds" examines pest control and crop improvement. "Beneath the Ashes" studies regrowth in Yellowstone National Park following the 1988 fire there. Included: attempts to create a weevil-resistant bean; research using wasps to combat hornworms.
"Running Out of Time" examines threats to the cheetah population in Namibia; "The Fragile Fossil" looks at efforts to save the black rhinoceros from extinction. Included: veterinarians in Zimbabwe try to prevent poaching by dehorning rhinos. Host: Bill Kurtis.
Efforts to understand how whales navigate, migrate and communicate. The program follows an attempt to satellite-tag sperm whales and observes an endeavor to identify the mammals' sounds. Included: footage of false killer whales and a pod of dolphins; comments from scientists. Bill Kurtis narrates.
The rugged Andes Mountains prove a match for scientists and treasure hunters in "The Search for Inca Gold," treasure that was reportedly buried 500 years ago by Incas fleeing Spanish mercenaries. The explorers use a virtual-reality "map" and high-tech aerial surveys.
"What Darwin Never Saw" visits the Galapagos Islands to examine the work of scientists who have studied evolution among Darwin's finches. Included: a profile of naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-82) and an overview of his theory of evolution. Bill Kurtis narrates.