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Outreach

Mr. Bill's Creator Interviews Jeff Williams on Geologic History and Hazards of Coastal Louisiana


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Those old enough to have seen Saturday Night Live back in the early 1970s, or reruns, will recall the now-cultlike clay character, Mr. Bill, and his co-stars (Sluggo, etc.). Many may have wondered who created him and what has happened over the past 3 decades. As it turns out, Mr. Bill's creator is alive and well and recently interviewed U.S. Geological Survey scientist Jeff Williams for his latest film project.

The Mr. Bill series was the brainchild of Walter Williams (no relation to Jeff), who created the figures and made the low-budget film productions in his living room while a student in New Orleans. Walter worked for a while in New York and, more recently, in Los Angeles as an independent filmmaker. He still revisits Mr. Bill on occasion, but his latest film project is producing an eight-part series covering the history of New Orleans. The first segment under production is titled "New Orleans: The Natural History." Walter is in the process of gathering background information, maps, and interviews of experts on various aspects of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta region.

Jeff Williams (Woods Hole, MA) was interviewed in July 2002 to give his perspective, based on research in Louisiana over the past 15 years, on the geologic history of the deltaic plain, the effects of storms and sea-level rise on the region, and what can be done to restore the barrier islands and wetlands, as well as to help the public deal with the multiple coastal hazards facing New Orleans. The film is slated for completion by summer's end. It's unknown whether Mr. Bill will have a starring role in the film. For information on Mr. Bill, visit the Mr. Bill Web site. For the film schedule later this year, keep an eye on the PBS Web site.


Related Sound Waves Stories
Conference on Restoring Louisiana's Coastal Barrier-Island and Wetlands Ecosystems
January 2002
NWRC Merits Coastal Stewardship Awards
June 2001
Coastal Marsh Die-back in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
March 2001
Barataria Barrier-Shoreline Feasibility Study
June 2000

Related Web Sites
Woods Hole Field Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Woods Hole, MA
Mr. Bill
Dreamsite Productions, Inc.
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
non-profit public television

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Tampa Bay Coring

North Carolina Coastal Erosion

Endangered White Abalone

Marbled Murrelets

Research Sediment Core Drilling Proposal

African Dust Microbiology

Outreach Tall Ships

Gulf of Mexico Teacher Workshop

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