ITS works with ideastream to quickly share educational event coverage with community

When the keynote address of the 2013 Leakey Foundation Annual Speaker Series on Human Origins, “On the Trail of Lucy: A Collaborative Exploration of Australopithecus,” came to a close, a new connection opened between Case Western Reserve University and the Greater Cleveland community. For the first time, the university and local public media organization ideastream used a new fiber connection to fulfill a shared mission: spreading educational content across the area.

Bernard Wood, university professor of human origins and director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Hominid Paleobiology at George Washington University and adjunct senior scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, led the keynote address. Held in Strosacker Auditorium Thursday, Sept. 19, Wood’s talk kicked off a two-day symposium that was sponsored by ideastream and co-hosted by Case Western Reserve, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Institute for the Science of Origins and the Leakey Foundation. After recording the keynote address, the ideastream crew used the fiber connection to transfer the recording to the ideastream studios and broadcast it on WVIZ/PBS World, Channel 25.3, immediately following the address. Without the fiber, the broadcast could not have been completed before the second day of the event.

“We were thrilled to be able to share the keynote talk of our public symposium not just with our on-campus audience, but with northeast Ohio and beyond,” said Glenn Starkman, professor of physics and astronomy, and director of the Institute for the Science of Origins at Case Western Reserve. “Having that fiber feed meant that people who couldn’t make it to campus could still hear the keynote talks that got them prepared for Friday’s panel discussions.”

The ease of sharing audio and video content between the organizations in real-time and near real-time increases the potential for reaching residents of the Greater Cleveland area and students of Case Western Reserve. “The mission of ideastream is to Strengthen Our Communities,” said Peg Neeson, community relations director for WVIZ/PBS, 90.3 WCPN and WCLV 104.9 ideastream. “This new fiber connection gives us the opportunity to work even more closely with Case Western Reserve University on projects that will be of value to the lifelong learning of residents throughout the region.”

Case Western Reserve’s Division of Information Technology Services (ITS) and a project team at ideastream conducted the installation of the fiber connection last spring. Three high-definition video signals and four digital audio channels can be transmitted over the fiber from the MediaVision studio on the Case Western Reserve campus to the ideastream studios. Audio and video also can be sent from ideastream to Case Western Reserve through one high-definition video channel and four audio channels.

The Leakey Foundation’s Annual Speaker Series on Human Origins was an ideal topic for the first of the organizations’ broadcast collaborations. The Origins Science Scholars Program, sponsored by the Institute for the Science of Human Origins at Case Western Reserve, has shared recordings of its speakers with ideastream for some time.

For more information on the Origins Science Scholars Program, visit