BECOMING CALIFORNIA 2020-05-06T15:46:24-07:00

Project Description



BECOMING CALIFORNIA is a two-hour documentary program about environmental change on America’s western edge. The program is narrated by academy award winning actress Jane Fonda, with music by legendary musician Pat Metheny. [Watch the full program]

BECOMING CALIFORNIA takes viewers on an epic journey across 250 million years of environmental change. It is the story of natural change across deep time: how colliding landforms interact with the ocean and atmosphere to create one of the most beautiful, diverse and biologically rich places on earth. It is also the modern, cautionary tale of human transformation, where California’s natural wealth is mined with textbook abandon. These stories of change (ancient and modern, natural and human) are merely the preface to an even greater story, the California of tomorrow.

Five years in the making, BECOMING CALIFORNIA is a spectacular tribute to California’s diverse and breathtakingly beautiful environments. From the fog shrouded redwood groves of the northern coast to the sun drenched deserts of the south, the program celebrates why California is often praised as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Not just a tour of the state’s parks and natural areas, the documentary also focuses on developed areas: cities, farms and engineered infrastructure… the hard evidence of more than two centuries of human transformation.

BECOMING CALIFORNIA was produced for the The California Environmental Legacy Project which seeks to awaken public understanding and stimulate cultural change through an integrated package of environmental media programs. Led by distinguished scientists, leading educators and award-winning media professionals, the Legacy Project connects the everyday lives of Californians to the rich life of California’s natural systems.

Propelled by a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, CELP has produced a number of other media programs from podcasts to visitor center films for state and national parks.

Since its public television premier on KQED TV in September 2014, the program has aired hundreds of times in 43 markets reaching 30% of the nation. Becoming California won two Emmy awards including Best Documentary in the 44th annual Northern California Emmy Awards.