Between Earth and Sky: Stories from the Last Frontier


“Between Earth and Sky” is a film about Alaska, and the arctic soils field tour led by Dr. Chien-Lu Ping. The tour is in its 23rd year and has led hundreds of students and professionals through one of the harshest environments on the planet, a 500 mile stretch from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, AK. Through the lens of Alaska we can see how climate change is effecting our entire world, and through the soil science tour we can better understand what these changes mean. We'd like to thank our funding partners: USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation ServiceThe Soil Science Society of AmericaThe University of Alaska-FairbanksThe Department of Plant and Soil Science at Texas Tech UniversityTexas Tech Public Media, and Texas Tech University.  

Austin Wideman is the Director of Photography for Between Earth and Sky. He's currently about to start his last semester at Texas Tech University where he'll graduate from the College of Media and Communication. He's wise beyond his years and as skilled as they come. He is a natural behind the camera and can work under any conditions thrown at him. For this project he had to learn 4K Cinema utilizing 2 Panasonic GH4s as well as learn how to operate a DJI Inspire 1 4K drone. He's a natural and adapted quickly to the arduous shooting conditions of Alaska. 

David Weindorf, Ph.D. is the Executive Producer of Between Earth and Sky. He approached Texas Tech Public Media in the spring of 2015 with an idea he was very passionate about. A soil scientist, Dr. Weindorf had been on the Arctic Soil Field Tour in Alaska with Chien-Lu Ping, Ph.D. multiple times and knew how important and valuable the field tour was to not only the science of soil but to our understanding of climate change. David had already crafted a draft of what the film could look like and one thing he was sure of was that Dr.

The driving force behind Between Earth and Sky is Chien-Lu Ping's Arctic Soil Field Tour course conducted by the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Here is a description of the class from UAF's website: 

We've come to decide that Alaska is absolutely a verb, we've been "Alasking" across this beautiful state being mindful of the majesty of the nature and landscape that is in front of us. The people who live in Alaska, or at least everyone we've met, loves and respects the natural world, and takes serious the stewardship of the earth. This is something that has stuck with us as we've made our way north through the LARGEST state. Any time we mention we are from Texas we are reminded that we are second to Alaska in size. At the restaurant tonight, 49th State Brewing Co.