Arizona Illustrated 2022 Emmy Special
Arizona Illustrated presents a recap of our 2022 Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy Award winners. These stories take viewers from footprints from the ancient past to current border issues, all the way to space and beyond.
Footprints from the Past
Archaeologists have recently uncovered ancient human footprints beneath the windswept landscape of White Sands National Park in New Mexico that date as far back as 23,000 years. That makes these footprints the earliest unequivocal evidence of human habitation in the Americas, pushing back our understanding of the arrival date by as much as 10,000 years. The history-shaking find also helps to validate Native American claims of a deep-time connection to this continent. It could forever alter our theories about the peopling of the Americas.
We are the water Missing Home
Nestled a few paces from the U.S.-Mexico border in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Quitobaquito Springs is a rare freshwater source in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Long before the site was National Park Service land, it was a homestead to the Hia C-ed O’odham, a tribe not recognized by the U.S. government that doesn’t have federally protected lands.
In 2020, construction crews building the Trump administration’s 30-foot steel border wall began closing in on the site, and tribal communities across Arizona mounted a months-long fight to stop it.
For O’odham poet and activist Amber Ortega, being part of that fight meant following breadcrumbs left behind by her father and forging a path of her own.
Mirrors for Magellan
University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab at Steward Observatory leads the world in making large, lightweight mirrors for the next generation of giant optical telescopes. Currently, they are fabricating seven massive 8.4-meter mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), which promises to revolutionize our views of the cosmos with optics 10 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope.