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New Six-Part Documentary Series HUMAN FOOTPRINT Examines How Humans Have Transformed the Planet


HUMAN FOOTPRINT, a new six-part science documentary, premieres Wednesdays, July 5 - August 9, at 9 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App. Hosted by biologist and Princeton University professor Shane Campbell-Staton, Ph.D., this part-science, part-travel series takes viewers from high-tech labs to sweltering street markets, from farms to restaurants, and from primeval forests to the back alleys of New York to explore the ways humans are transforming the planet – and what those transformations tell us about who we are as a species. HUMAN FOOTPRINT is a visually stunning series set to an original score by legendary hip-hop and jazz producer Adrian Younge.


HUMAN FOOTPRINT is a modern and exciting addition to our growing slate of climate and environmental programming that will energize all audiences to engage in exploring the science that’s all around us,” said Bill Gardner, Vice President, Multiplatform Programming & Head of Development at PBS. “We’re proud to welcome Shane and HUMAN FOOTPRINT to our legacy of best-in-class, provocative science content that’s also relatable, relevant and a joy to watch.”


In 4.5 billion years, the planet has never experienced anything like humans; we are no ordinary organism. Even our most basic needs — food, water, and shelter — place a staggering burden on the planet’s resources. Through unique interactions with an eclectic cast of characters – from scientists and historians to rat exterminators and dog dancing gurus – Shane discovers the complex motivations behind our impacts and unveils opportunities for a less lopsided coexistence.

“Hosting HUMAN FOOTPRINT has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. I study how animals adapt to the changes we are making to planet, but this journey really helped me to better understand the depth and breadth of our impact,” Shane said. “We are so intricately connected to the world around us in so many ways. I hope this series helps others to see and think about those connections in new ways.”


Each episode of HUMAN FOOTPRINT is built on a foundation of science, but the biggest lessons are about human nature. The series is not a “doom and gloom” tale of human villainy. Instead, it is an honest reckoning with our vast footprint and our species’ singular history of transforming the planet. The series’ six episodes cover a wide range of topics: invasive species that are both deeply devastating to ecosystems and critical components of culture; how it came to pass that once-wild wolves now work, sleep, and dance (that’s right, dance) alongside us; how five species that met our needs have hitched a ride along with us to global domination; the way that modern cities are both deadly and delightful for their inhabitants; and the science and history behind a crop with an outsized impact on culture – cotton.


“We’re thrilled to share HUMAN FOOTPRINT and Dr. Shane Campbell-Staton with audiences around the world,” said Neil Losin, owner and senior producer at Day’s Edge. “Now is the time to ask the big questions about humanity’s past, present and future, and Shane’s knowledge, curiosity and humility make him the perfect guide for this unforgettable journey.”

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