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Brains and Braun


For the last three years, UC Blue Ash adjunct instructor Meg Hanrahan has been working on a documentary devoted to recognizing the achievements and work of E. Lucy Braun. Hanrahan is a writer, producer and director for the project and teaches in the UC Blue Ash Electronic Media department.

eMedia Professor Meg Hanrahan

“I first learned of E. Lucy in a college ecology class, but had been fortunate as a child to hike in one of the areas, Lynx Prairie, that she helped to preserve in Adams County, Ohio,” says Hanrahan, who has been impressed with Braun’s work ever since then.

A Force For Nature: Lucy Braun documents the fascinating achievements of Lucy Braun. Braun taught and studied at UC, was one of our country’s first ecologists, a dedicated preservationist and was one of the first women to earn a PhD at UC. Her sister, Annette, was actually the first woman to earn a PhD from the university. In addition to telling Lucy’s story, the program discusses important history in ecology and details the rewards of successful preservation of natural spaces.

With 28 different entities contributing to the funding of the project, Hanrahan and a local nonprofit as her co-producer, Voyageur Media Group, were able to raise $97,000 for the project; with $2,000 of that coming from the UC College of Arts and Sciences.

The documentary premiered on CET (Cincinnati’s PBS station) last month and will be airing on KET (The Kentucky Network) several times in November and December. The list of upcoming airdates on KET is available here.

“It has been really rewarding to tell this story about two women from Cincinnati who made such an impact in our world, but that most people have never heard of,” says Hanrahan. “The project allowed me to highlight preservation of natural spaces, which is very important to me personally, and it connected me to the many people and organizations who are invested in this story and who carry on the work that Lucy Braun started.”

The project also comes with a perk for teachers; there are lesson plans available for teachers to use in combination with the documentary. With the help of educators at the Edge of Appalacia, Hanrahan was able to develop the curriculum materials that are available here.

About Lori Rinehart

Lori Rinehart is the Communications Intern at UC Blue Ash for the 2018-19 academic year. Lori studies Journalism and Spanish at the University of Cincinnati Uptown campus.