Kristine DeLong

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Dr. DeLong is a paleoclimatologist at Louisiana State University and a featured scientist in the documentary The Underwater Forest. This stunning film documents a unique, recently-discovered ancient cypress forest that sits nine miles off the Alabama coast in 60’ of water. Dr. DeLong is leading the scientific investigation of this incredible find. Her research portfolio is focused on climate change of the past, primarily in the subtropics to tropical regions for the past 130,000 years, and her field work involves dives to recover modern and fossil coral samples. She is the lead principal investigator for projects involving sediment coring and geophysical survey field operations. She is one of a few paleoclimatologists who has published multi-century long coral-based temperature reconstructions from Atlantic and Pacific corals. DeLong has published extensively on her reconstruction work as well as on the refinement, fidelity, and data analysis methods used in paleoclimatic reconstructions. She completed her Ph.D. in Marine Science at University of South Florida and her post-doctoral research at the U.S. Geological Survey in St. Petersburg, FL.

Ben Raines

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Photo by Debbie Elliott/NPR

Ben Raines is well-known for nearly two decades of writing about environmental issues and natural wonders in Alabama, with much of that time spent as an investigative reporter for He has also produced several documentaries about Alabama, with the most recent being The Underwater Forest. The film has received media attention from national and international news outlets such as NBC Nightly News, the BBCThe Washington Post, and NPR. Raines also produced America’s Amazon, a documentary about the Mobile River Basin that has aired on PBS stations around the country. His underwater film work has appeared in documentaries on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic TV. The U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain also runs fishing and sightseeing tours in the waters around Mobile. He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in filmmaking.