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Elon student video project nominated for PBS special

Three Elon University students in an environmental communications course have had a class video project named a finalist for a PBS television special in April, and if their work receives the top number of votes in an online contest, the network may show the project this spring to a national audience.

"Recycling the Digestive Cycle" by three Elon University students is one of 14 nominees, to date, in consideration for an April 8 national broadcast by PBS.

Matt Eastman, Kenton Beal, and Logan Hardin – all members of the Elon Phoenix football team and all three environmental studies majors – filmed and edited the video for the Environmental Communications course led by assistant professor Barbara Miller in the School of Communications. In it, the trio advocates for the use of dairy cow manure as a source of renewable energy for heating homes.

According to their research, North Carolina’s 45,000 dairy cows produce enough manure to heat 900 homes each year through biodigester technology, which traps methane released by animal waste.

The students submitted their video to Planet Forward in late December. A project of the Center for Innovative Media at The George Washington University, Planet Forward promotes environmental awareness and has partnered with PBS for the television special. Its topic focus for 2011 was "an innovation that improves how we generate or use energy"

More than 700 entries from across the United States have been submitted to date. Planet Forward will stop accepting submissions on Feb. 4, with voting for the selected nominees scheduled to end on Feb. 11. The Planet Forward television special on PBS is scheduled to air April 8.

The Elon community can support Eastman, Beal and Hardin’s work by visiting http://planetforward.org/vote-pbs/ to vote for the video “Recycling the Digestive Cycle.”

Eric Townsend,
1/27/2011 10:13 AM