The Chickahominy Report

News about Earth, Atmosphere, Water, and Life

Safe Haven: The Delmarva Fox Squirrel and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Delmarva fox squirrel

BLACKWATER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Md. — A Del­mar­va fox squir­rel pos­es on the root ball of a fall­en tree.

MECHANICSVILLE, Va. — Back in March 2012, I took part in the Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty Cen­ter for Envi­ron­men­tal Filmmaking’s Class­room in the Wild: Chesa­peake Bay. Over the course of a week, we immersed our­selves in a crash course in doc­u­men­tary film. We learned the basics of get­ting good footage, researched poten­tial top­ics, and went to Black­wa­ter Nation­al Wildlife Refuge on Maryland’s East­ern Shore. Over course of two-and-a-half days four groups of stu­dents shot all the footage we could get, then we went back to Amer­i­can to make short films out of the vast amount of dig­i­tal footage we shot.

The group I was in decid­ed to focus on refuge’s effort to save the endan­gered Del­mar­va fox squir­rel, a sub­species found only on the Del­mar­va Penin­su­la today. I fin­ished a first draft of this film that week — with Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty police offi­cers want­i­ng to kick me out of the video lab late my final night there. (Under­stand­ably, as no offi­cial AU folks were around.)

I final­ly man­aged to revised the film in prepa­ra­tion for a Class­room in the Wild film show­case on Nov. 6, 2012 (elec­tion night), and tweaked it a bit more the day after. Below is the result:

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