NEW RAYMER, Colo. (CBS4) – In May, CBS4 Meteorologist Dave Aguilera headed up a team that went to the Pawnee National Grasslands for a field trip.
The “Grasslands Live!” program was the culmination of a year-long curriculum in schools around the nation about the grasslands in North America.
CBS4 worked with the USDA Forest Service, the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and Prince William Network to take the kids on a virtual field trip, thanks to sponsors including presenting sponsor Whiting Petroleum Corporation.
Students from Dios Rios Elementary School in Evans joined the Forest Service and Conservancy to share the hands-on lessons with students watching on the internet.
The program is part of the Forest Service’s distance learning program.
For CBS4, it meant building a “virtual” television station in the remote region, bringing in everything from cameras to a control room to satellite transmission, right down to power.
Planning took months to make sure every contingency was covered for weather from rain to wind.
Still, planning can’t take everything into account; the crew found itself in a rather unusual rush hour on the way to the Twin Buttes Trail Head on May 17. Everyone had to wait to for cattle to cross the gravel road to travel the final few miles.