- Associated Press - Saturday, April 19, 2014

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) - A quarterly video magazine called “Illinois’ Sky” is the culmination of the hard work and dedication of two Eastern Illinois University geography professors.

Cameron Craig and Chris Laingen’s “Illinois’ Sky” is a 30-minute program on WEIU-TV that showcases the weather, climate and landscape of Central Illinois and the United States. The video magazine will run on WEIU-TV four times a year and will correlate with the change of the seasons.

“We will look at the geography across the world and bring it here to Central Illinois - it all affects us,” Craig said. “Weather influences us all the time and people are interested in it because it evolves very quickly.”

The first episode debuted Tuesday night and put a spotlight on the Vernal Equinox, cloud classification, the drought in California, storm tracks and the polar vortex.

“It’s different and not what people will expect,” Craig said. “As geographers we like to educate the current and past generations.”

Putting together the first program took the duo 19 hours. Both Craig and Laingen shoot and edit video, write a script and music for “Illinois’ Sky.”

“We like it because it’s local substance and we can relate it to Central Illinois,” Craig said.

Laingen and Craig were first approached by WEIU-TV General Manager Jack Neal to form a weekly program for the station, which then turned into the project “Illinois’ Sky” that will be broadcast every three months.

“This is instead of a weekly because we can only talk so much weather,” Craig said. “It is very exciting because it is a spotlight for our department. We make the community aware of the physical and cultural aspects of the world we live in.”

Craig said that an added perk to making “Illinois’ Sky” is to be able to play the program for Laingen and his students when they are not able to physically be in the classroom.

“If we are gone to a conference, students will be able to watch this video and learn along the way,” Craig said. “It’s designed for the classroom and is equal parts entertaining and educational.”

Laingen said he hopes that viewers will find the program enlightening.

“I hope people will get a better understanding of the broader world around them - they are very much an active part of the world,” Laingen said. “People are very much influenced by the world and in turn they influence the world.”

“Illinois’ Sky” first appeared on WEIU-TV Tuesday, but has additional airings at 10 tonight and 12:30 p.m. next Monday.


Source: Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, https://bit.ly/1dRLTHv


Information from: Mattoon Journal-Gazette, https://www.jg-tc.com

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