Terri Lorenz has spent the last three years with turtles, buffalo, burrowing owls and digging for dinosaur bones.
Lorenz of Lucan is co-host of "Nature Adventures" on South Dakota Public Broadcasting, which was nominated for a regional Emmy for 2010 Childrens series 12 and under by the Upper Midwest Chapter of the national Academy of Arts and Sciences. The show will also start airing on TPT's Minnesota channel starting Nov. 1.
"That's very huge news for anyone working in television," Lorenz said. "It's been quite exciting."
"Nature Adventures" started 3-1/2 years ago, Lorenz said. She has been with Caribou Productions, which is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., since 2005 and has done many television shows, commercials, print ads and stage modeling. She and Todd Magnuson, the founder of Caribou, decided to create a new show for children.
"We decided we were going to shoot a pilot for a program originally called 'South Dakota Wildlife Adventures,'" Lorenz said.
Lorenz and Manguson submitted the show to South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A few weeks later, Lorenz said, they got an e-mail to meet with SDPB.
"We were shocked they were not only interested in that program, but they wanted to implement it as a series," Lorenz said.
SDPB also wanted to develop an educational curriculum around the series as well, Lorenz said, which includes lesson plans, learning modules and visits to classrooms with live animals. The two have also done farm shows, outdoors expos and state fairs.
"Essentially what started out as filming a pilot, hoping it would air even once, turned into a much larger vision and a full-time job," Lorenz said. "It's been wonderful really. It's been nice to be giving back."
Each episode is a half-hour long and the two explore different kinds of animals and places around the Midwest, whether it's bison, big horn sheep and pronghorn antelope in Custer State Park or the Blanding's turtles in Wabasha.
"We try to dispel a lot of myths about animals," Lorenz said.
For the first two seasons, Lorenz and Manguson stayed in South Dakota. But for the third season, which they filmed this summer, they found out they were going to be expanding into other states -Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota.
"We stretched into the other states for programs this season," Lorenz said. "We did a lot of things up north, Duluth, Ely."
In her last three seasons with the show, Lorenz said she has become as educated on animals as the kids who watch the show.
"I've learned so much, it's crazy," Lorenz said. "Looking back, I think 'why did I not appreciate this more growing up?'" Lorenz said.
Lorenz said Nature Adventures was up against a couple of other shows in the category of Childrens Series 12 and under -"Kids Shows" and "Lakeville Kids Government."
"Our show is gaged for kids a little bit older," Lorenz said.
"We're hopeful this is going to be new and fresh," Lorenz said before the awards were presented Sept. 25.
How a show is nominated for a regional Emmy involves three steps, Lorenz said. First, regional television stations submit entries they "deem worthy." Then a panel that consists of representatives from other regions give an unbiased opinion on who should move onto the final nominations and then the NATAS selects the winners out of those nominees.
Lorenz was taping the show in Wabasha when the news of the nomination came through on an e-mail on her phone.
"I really didn't have a reaction at first," Lorenz said.
Then it wasn't until she looked at the list and did the research and saw how big of deal it was, Lorenz realized "Nature Adventures" had gotten good recognition.
"It took a few days for that to soak in," Lorenz said.
Lorenz is excited that "Nature Adventures" will be broadcast in Minnesota next month. The program will be on at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
"For most part, people are able to see what I do," Lorenz said.