IN THE VALLES CALDERA: For nearly three years, Tim Aydelott and crew captured footage in the Valles Caldera in northern New Mexico. Now his documentary, “Valles Caldera: The Science” will have a run on PBS, Channel 5 at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18.
This documentary focuses on the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the high mountains of northern New Mexico. The preserve is situated inside a collapsed crater surrounded by eruptive domes and features the 11,254-foot Redondo Peak. Much of the year, the Valles area is an emerald gem amidst the sere New Mexico landscape.
“I’ve always wanted to do a piece on this area since I moved here in 1992,” he explains. “Once it became public land, I started to think about the documentary and eventually it fell into place and here it is.”
Aydelott says the film explores scientific research into climate change being conducted on the Valles Caldera National Preserve, as well as the geology, the geologic forces that formed the caldera’s super volcano, the current hydrology within the caldera and the effects of fire in the region.
It also is broken up into three major topics: geologic history, current research and fire impact.
“When we started filming, this was years before the Las Conchas Fire,” he explains. “You can see the change in the landscape. It turned out well because the fire created all the drama we needed to tell this story.”
Aydelott says it was surreal being out in that open space.
“I keep going back to the first time we were there and that was in 2008,” he says. “It was 4:30 in the morning and there were about five people that were in the area. I just kept thinking to myself how special it was to be here.” - By Adrian Gomez