“Bay Nature on the Air” Nominated for Northern California Emmy Award

May 14, 2014

Bay Nature Institute is proud to announce that the 2014 series of Bay Nature on the Air — nature shorts based on features from Bay Nature magazine — has been nominated for a regional Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, San Francisco/Northern California Chapter. This is the third Emmy nomination for producer Rick Bacigalupi, a Bay Area native with 28 years of experience in Bay Area broadcast and video for nonprofits. The producer was nominated for excellence in the Informational/Instructional Program category.

“We’re so thrilled that Rick is getting recognition for the amazing partnership he has developed with Bay Nature over the past eight years, bringing the magazine’s message of exploring the region’s natural wonders to a much larger audience,” says David Loeb, executive director of Bay Nature Institute and publisher of the quarterly Bay Nature magazine.

The current line-up of engaging video shorts, broadcast on public television stations throughout Northern California, examines the Bay Area’s iconic coast redwood forests, the noisy antics of acorn woodpeckers, and the confounding variety of gull species around the Bay Area. We are also introduced to Palo Alto’s dedicated Environmental Volunteers, who bring nature education to underserved children, and to 2011 Bay Nature Local Hero Doris Sloan, emeritus UC Berkeley geologist who deciphers the rocks of the Marin Headlands. This season also features butterfly expert and 2014 Bay Nature Local Hero Liam O’Brien and S.F. Bay Bird Observatory senior biologist Alvaro Jaramillo.

Initially presented to PBS stations by Rohnert Park-based KRCB-TV in 2006, the series now consist of 20 videos that have introduced viewers to dedicated naturalists and eco-volunteers who are working to explain, reclaim, and sustain the rich natural heritage of the San Francisco Bay Area.

“I learn something every time I open a new edition of Bay Nature,” says Bacigalupi. “There are more and more surprising facts about this incredible environment we call home. Bay Nature is an absolutely gorgeous publication. Translating it to video and on to TV was a project just waiting to happen.”

KRCB Director of Operations Stan Marvin agrees: “‘Bay Nature on the Air’ is a perfect compliment to our national series ‘Natural Heroes’ and is totally in keeping with our mission to promote environmental education and appreciation whenever we can. The fit is just right.”

Naturalist/BNOTA host Michael Ellis. Photo by Rick Bacigalupi
BNOTA host Michael Ellis (Rick Bacigalupi)

Well-known naturalist Michael Ellis is at the center of many of the spots airing on stations KQED Channel 9 (San Francisco) and KRCB Channel 22 (Rohnert Park). A frequent contributor to KQED-FM’s Perspectives series and to Bay Nature magazine, Ellis uses irreverent humor to communicate his deep knowledge of local plants and animals.

“There are not many places in the world where you can walk out your door in a metropolis of millions of people, and within a very short period of time be in a place where you can see bobcats, foxes, coyotes, and primeval forests,” Ellis said. “And it’s important that people recognize the value of the nature that’s found here, to ensure that future generations will have the same kinds of opportunities that we do.”

And if the spots’ opening announcer’s voice sounds familiar, it should: That’s Doug McConnell, longtime environmental advocate and beloved host of the popular local television series Bay Area Backroads (1993-2009) serving as “The Voice of Bay Nature on the Air.”

This intersection of compelling content, established talent, and polished presentation mirrors the inspiration for the series, the award-winning Berkeley-based quarterly magazine Bay Nature ( Now in its fourteenth year of publication, Bay Nature’s mission has been to “bring Bay Area residents closer to the remarkable and incredibly diverse natural world that surrounds us right here where we live and work,” according to publisher Loeb.

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Listen to EarthNews Journal’s recent podcast interview with BNOTA producer Rick Bacigalupi.

Watch for “Bay Nature on the Air” on public TV stations KQED and KRCB or view them online at Educators interested in obtaining the forthcoming companion lesson plans may contact the producer by email at

See the complete list of regional Emmy nominees here.

To get more information or to arrange interviews with Rick or Bay Nature staff, please contact marketing director Beth Slatkin at or 510-528-8550 x107.

About the Author

Beth Slatkin is Bay Nature's marketing and outreach director.