2018 Video: Spot News/Feature Reporting - Silver

Jennifer Green opened her short, animated video on trees with a simple message: “Trees may look like solitary individuals. But the ground beneath our feet tells a different story. Trees are secretly talking, trading and waging war on one another.” In just under two minutes, Green and animator Jules Bartl described the fungal network through which trees communicate, a system that has been nicknamed the “Wood Wide Web.” If attacked by pests, trees can release chemical signals through their roots that can warn neighboring trees to raise their defenses. The judges praised the visual appeal of the animation and the amount of information it imparts. “This video is short and lighthearted,” said judge David Baron, author and former health and science editor for Public Radio International’s “The World.” He added, “The animation is wonderfully artistic, and the script is vivid and fun. It shows that a science video doesn’t have to be long to convey big ideas.” Laura Helmuth, science, health and environment editor for The Washington Post, said Green’s entry “sends the viewer off with a wish to go outside and think about the natural world differently.” Green and Bartl commented: “It has never been more important to understand and appreciate the wonders of the natural world, and we are both very excited and honored to win the AAAS Kavli award for a piece we care so greatly about.”