Photo: Lucy Braun (right) fords stream during field research in 1910 at Beechwood Camp, Hueston Woods, Ohio. Courtesy, Willard Sherman Turrell Herbarium, Miami University.

Lucy Braun (1889-1971) was a trailblazer in the field of ecology and for women in science. She was the second woman to receive a PhD from the University of Cincinnati, in 1914 (the first was her sister, Annette). A native of Cincinnati, Braun was also an important early Ohio conservationist and catalyst for what became the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System in Adams County, one of the most bio-diverse areas in the Midwest.  Her botanical research culminated in the magisterial Deciduous Forests of Eastern Northern America (1950), an exhaustive and groundbreaking publication that documented deciduous trees of the eastern North American continent. Through her conservation work and research, she inspired generations of ecologists, biologists, and botanists and raised awareness of Ohio’s distinctive natural history.

Ohio Humanities invested $22,000 in Voyageur Media’s planning and production of the documentary, Lucy Braun – Pioneer Ecologist. As a result, film producers were able to leverage over $140,000 in additional resources.  According to producer Meg Hanrahan, Ohio Humanities played a vital role in launching the documentary: the 2016 environmental humanities theme, Toward a Beautiful Ohio, helped build momentum for the project. Critical early funding came in the form an Ohio Humanities planning grant. An Ohio Humanities media grant provided support for production itself. “Those grants,” notes Hanrahan, “also demonstrated the value of the project to our community, essentially acting as seed money to other funders, who have now more than doubled Ohio Humanities’ investment in the project. Without their early and substantial investment, this project would likely never have happened. Because of their support, the life and work of one of Ohio’s most important female scientists will inspire and educate tens of thousands of public television viewers, teachers and students in our state and beyond.”

These are the stories that Ohioans value – the stories they will support with significant matching funds. As is often the case with projects large and small, Ohio Humanities plays a vital role in helping to launch important initiatives that present important Ohio stories to the wider world.

Lucy Braun documentary trailer from Voyageur Media Group, Inc. on Vimeo.

For more information on this project, visit Voyageur Media Group, Inc.