From Billions To None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight To Extinction
(57 min) US
[watch trailer]

Sunday 10/18, 2:45 PM (Session 8)

Director: David Mrazek
Producer: David Mrazek, Joel Greenberg

From Billions to None follows naturalist and author Joel Greenberg on a quest to reveal the incredible, mostly forgotten story of how the passenger pigeon, the most abundant bird species in North America for thousands of years, became extinct by human hands in a geologic heartbeat. It retells the remarkable story of the passenger pigeon and explores its striking relevance to conservation challenges today, and plans for its possible revival. The film recreates the awe-inspiring nature of these birds, and presents scientists, teachers and young people who reveal why, one-hundred years later, it's important to remember the event—and act.

David Mrazek is a documentary filmmaker and web-based media producer who has produced and/or directed award-winning, nationally broadcast documentaries for public television and cable networks on topics ranging from the Hamilton/Burr duel and Woodrow Wilson to the microbial world and commercial aviation. He most recently co-directed The Principal Story, a compelling look at two public school principals, which aired on POV. Mrazek has also produced award-winning web videos on topics such as domestic violence, addiction, HIV-AIDS and social media bullying. From Billions to None won the Broadcast Award at the 2014 American Conservation Film Festival and was a key element in an outreach effort called Project Passenger Pigeon, a group of over 300 cooperating institutions that mounted multi-media educational initiatives across the United States and Canada throughout 2014, the centennial of the extinction event. 

Joel Greenberg is a research associate of the Field Museum and the Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. He specializes in natural history and has authored numerous books, including A Natural History of the Chicago Region. His most recent book, A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction is the first history of the passenger pigeon in 50 years. Greenberg has taught courses for the Morton Arboretum, Brookfield Zoo, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Greenberg is the recipient of several awards for his environmental protection work. He helped spearhead Project Passenger Pigeon to focus attention on human-caused extinctions.

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