2013 Television: In-Depth/Feature Reporting


Bats in North America are dying by the millions, victims of a mysterious fungus that causes white-nose syndrome and has produced one of the greatest wildlife disasters in U.S. history. "Killer in the Caves" follows bat expert DeeAnn Reeder of Bucknell University and wildlife manager Greg Turner of the Pennsylvania Game Commission in their fight against a disease that is driving little brown bats, one of the most common bat species in the northeastern United States, toward extinction. It also is causing mass mortalities among five other species. The program "paired fantastic visuals and video technology with a compelling scientific mystery that is superbly explained," said judge Christine Dell'Amore, a science writer for NationalGeographic.com. Tina Hesman Saey of Science News said the program "humanizes scientists as well as illuminating the process of doing science, with its frustrations and disappointments but also inklings of hope." Dennis Wells, the producer, director and writer of the program said: "I didn't expect just how passionate the researchers can be. At 4 a.m. after finishing 14 hours of work in a cold, damp cave they would cheerfully discuss potential avenues of further research while the ‘tough' film crew was in the back of the car — covered in mud and completely beat. It was very impressive."