The Empire of Grandeur
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks

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Great Nature
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
To battle unemployment in the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, which spawns a "golden age" for the parks through major renovation projects. In a groundbreaking study, a young NPS biologist named George Melendez Wright discovers widespread abuses of animal habitats and pushes the service to…
The Last Refuge
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
By the end of the 19th century, widespread industrialization has left many Americans worried about whether the country - once a vast wilderness - will have any pristine land left. At the same time, poachers in the parks are rampant, and visitors think nothing of littering or carving their names…
Going Home
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
While visiting the parks was once predominantly the domain of Americans wealthy enough to afford the high-priced train tours, the advent of the automobile allows more people than ever before to visit the parks. Mather embraces this opportunity and works to build more roads in the parks. Some park enthusiasts,…
Assembling North America, Park by Park
Conclude by surveying national parks not yet visited in the course, traversing North America on a grand expedition. Along the way, assess the geology of this spectacularly diverse continent. From the Appalachians to the Aleutians, the national parks and other protected lands tell a dramatic and unforgettable story.
The Morning of Creation
Part of the Series: Ken Burns: The National Parks
Following World War II, the parks are overwhelmed as visitation reaches 62 million people a year. A new billion-dollar campaign - Mission 66 - is created to build facilities and infrastructure that can accommodate the flood of visitors. A biologist named Adolph Murie introduces the revolutionary notion that predatory animals,…
Petrified Forest and Other Fossil Parks
See Petrified Forest National Park, a colorful landscape littered with fossil trees that shaded Earth's earliest dinosaurs. Here and in other parks in the U.S. and Canada, fossilized flora and fauna open a window on ancient ecosystems, extinct species, and the history of life on Earth.
Wonders of the National Parks - A Geology of North America
In 1872, a wondrous region called Yellowstone was set aside as the world's first national park, giving adventurous travelers access to a geologist's paradise that seethes with pent-up volcanic forces. As more and more national parks were created--not just in the United States but also in Canada and Mexico--geologists were…
Volcanoes of Alaska: Katmai and Lake Clark
Travel to Alaska to explore the vast national parks at Katmai and Lake Clark. Katmai was the site of the 20th century's largest volcanic eruption, while Lake Clark is unusual among national parks for having no roads and being accessible only by boat or small plane.
Great National Parks of Australia
Australia has some of the most spectacular, diverse and unique scenery in the world. This documentary explores six national parks, capturing the beauty, history and human impact on these areas. Featured are the marine wonderlands of the Great Barrier Reef, the rainforest splendour of the Daintree and Queensland's wet tropics.…
Pinnacles to Joshua Tree: The San Andreas
Trace the earth-shaking San Andreas fault through a series of national parks and recreation areas--from Point Reyes, Golden Gate, and Pinnacles in the north to the Santa Monica Mountains, Channel Islands, Joshua Tree, and Mexico's Sierra de San Pedro Martir in the south.
Mount Saint Helens, Lassen Volcanic, Rainier
Tour Mount Rainier National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Pacific Northwest, which are part of the Cascade Range of active volcanoes that include Mount Saint Helens. Then visit a group of similarly cataclysmic volcanoes in national parks in central Mexico.
Voyageurs, Isle Royale, the Canadian Shield
Explore the ancient heart of North America--the Canadian Shield--heading north from Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota to Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest, most northerly national park in the world. En route, stop off at parks on Isle Royale, Baffin Island, and Ellesmere Island.