TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – A University of New Mexico class is sharing the stories of the Rio Grande with you. Peter Walker is the digital media coordinator at UNM Taos.

He has been taking his students on rides up and down the Rio Grande so they can learn about then tell the tales of high desert life, culture, survival, and wildlife along the river. All of their experiences are being filmed and put together in a four-part docuseries called “Rio Grande Serenade.”

“The river is so important to the region, to life itself. For people to be able to get out on the river or experience it in some kind of first, visceral way it allows an opportunity to really have a sense of how important the river and the water is,” said Sol Lothe a hot air balloon pilot in the series.

The series is unlike other films that have explored the river in the past. “We have these great mountains and rivers and so we’re able to actually take our students out into the environment to learn how to shoot and film and edit and do all those things,” Walker said.

The project lasted about four semesters, starting back in 2019, allowing different students to participate. While Walker says it was a fun assignment for students, it’s also preparing them for life after college. “If you can go out and film a documentary. If you can go out interview someone on sight, that’s going to be a huge plus for getting a job in the media industry,” Walker said.

Luckily for future students who are interested, Walker says this is likely just the beginning. “We care about the landscape and the river and we have cameras and we have skilled students; the concept is “media that matters,” Walker said.

The first episode, “River Guides” is available to watch. The second episode will be released on March 25 with two more released monthly.