"Becoming California" selfieCelebrating their Emmy are, from left, Becoming California executive producers Jim Baxter and Jeffrey White, associate producer/writer Richard York, and producer/director Kit Tyler.

Becoming California, a stunning PBS documentary co-produced by Sacramento State biology professor Jim Baxter, was named Best Documentary, Cultural/Historical, at the 44th annual Northern California Emmy Awards on June 6 in San Francisco.

“It was a tremendous honor to receive this recognition for all the excellent hard work by the project team over the years,” Baxter says. “This is big news for the project and a great distinction for Sac State.”

The two-hour film tells the story of California’s environmental past, present, and future – and tells how we must balance the demands of civilization with the needs of nature.

Baxter was instrumental in landing a $3 million National Science Foundation grant for Sac State that helped fund the documentary, which was the first major production of the California Environmental Legacy Project. The compelling film was narrated by Oscar winner Jane Fonda, with an original score by Pat Metheny.

Becoming California was the final film screened at the LA Harbor International Film Festival in April, when U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn presented Baxter with a Congressional Certificate of Recognition.

Sharing the Emmy honors with Baxter were co-executive producer Jeffrey White, a biology professor at Humboldt State; producer Kit Tyler; associate producers Richard Tsai and Richard York; and aerial photographer Ron Chapple.

Learn more about the Legacy Project and the award-winning Becoming California at www.calegacy.org. – Dixie Reid