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Thornton “Thor” Giese

“Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy,” which is filmed and produced in New Jersey, has been named a Silver Winner for Non-Broadcast, General-Nature/Wildlife in the 42nd Annual Telly Awards.

Last year, Thornton “Thor” Giese developed his own series of experiential science videos, “Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy,” which was picked up by the Emmy-winning Into the Outdoors network that  airs on PBS in 27 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The show, which is produced Anne Thorntonfounder and president of NJBIA-member MSI Plumbing, tackles the elements of earth, air, fire and water in fun and relatable way, with Giese  tapping into his experience as an archaeologist and museum educator to bring the subjects alive for the audience. 

The winning episode, “Hot Sauce,” features Giese wearing his Indiana Jones-style hat and archeologist outfit sharing the history of hot chili peppers and why hot pepper are used. Giese then shows the viewer how to make sauce from home-grown hot peppers in fast motion.

“I am so blown away and honored to be recognized with a Telly Award,” Giese said. “In 2020, I had just gotten a dream job with New Jersey Fish & Wildlife when the position was frozen due to the pandemic. I then switched gears and created the Outdoor Science Academy.

“To have gone from that to this in just a year is remarkable and validates all the hard work my team and I have done to create fun, engaging and educational science videos,” Giese said.

Giese earned a degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado in Denver and previously worked as an archaeologist on numerous digs and excavation sites. He also served as a resident educator at Dinosaur Ridge, an outdoor museum in Colorado that is one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil localities. It was there that Giese learned to make science come alive for more than 200,000 visitors.

The Telly Awards honor excellence in video and television across all screens and are judged by leaders from video platforms, television, streaming networks and production companies. Telly Award winners are chosen from over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.

“In the face of a year like no other, ‘Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy’ has continued to defy the limitations of our new world, in continuing to create compelling and engaging work,” said Telly Awards Executive Director Sabrina Dridje.

“This year’s submissions doubled down on what we already know about the industry. Creativity cannot be stopped. Collaboration will always prevail. New ideas and stories will always find a way to break through to an audience,” Dridje said.

The full list of the 42nd Annual Telly Awards winners can be found at

To watch “Thor’s Outdoor Science Academy,” tune into Thor’s YouTube channel or go to his website at