Christopher Palmer

Distinguished Film Producer in Residence
School of Communication

  • Additional Positions at AU

    Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking
  • Chris Palmer is a full-time professor of Film and Media Arts. He is also a speaker, author, and environmental and wildlife film producer. He has swum with dolphins and whales, come face-to-face with sharks and Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded hip-deep through Everglade swamps. Over the past thirty years, he has spearheaded the production of more than 300 hours of original programming for prime-time television and the IMAX film industry, work that won him and his colleagues many awards, including two Emmys and an Oscar nomination. And from this treasure trove of experience came Shooting in the Wild, his controversial and entertaining memoir about the dark side of wildlife filmmaking. In 2004, Chris joined American University’s full-time faculty as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence at the School of Communication. There he founded, and currently directs, the Center for Environmental Filmmaking. Chris is also president of the One World One Ocean Foundation, a multimillion-dollar global media campaign to save the oceans. Visit ChrisPalmerOnline.com for more information about Chris Palmer.
  • Degrees

    BS (First Class Honors) Mechanical Engineering, University College London; MS Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture, University College London; MPA John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
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  • OFFICE

  • SOC - School of Communication
  • McKinley - 226
  • Tuesdays 8:00-10:00 PM and Wednesdays 2:00-6:00 pm
  • CONTACT INFO

  • (202) 885-3408 (Office)
  • Send email Profile UserID
  • FOR THE MEDIA

  • To request an interview for a
    news story, call AU Communications
    at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • International Wildlife Film Festival

    Board Member

  • Natural Resources Council of America

    Board Member

  • Media Group

    Board Member

  • BearTrek

    Board Member

  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capitol

    Board Member

  • Population Media Center

    Board Member

Teaching

  • Fall 2014

  • Spring 2015

    • COMM-080 Film & Digital Media Workshop: Classrm in Wld: Chesapeake Bay
    • Description

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Films/Documentaries

For more details, please see IMDB.  

Chris has spent 25 years producing more than 300 hours of original programming for prime time television and the giant screen (IMAX) film industry. His films have been broadcast on the Disney Channel, TBS Superstation, Animal Planet, Home and Garden Television, The Travel Channel, The Outdoor Life Network, the Public Broadcasting System, and in the global system of IMAX theaters. His IMAX films include Whales, Wolves, Dolphins, Bears, India: Kingdom of the Tiger, Coral Reef Adventure, and Grand Canyon Adventure.

Media Appearances

Profiles about Chris have appeared in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He has been interviewed on the Today Show, the Fox News Channel, and other networks.

Research Interests

  • Ethical conduct in wildlife filmmaking
  • The effectiveness of environmental and wildlife films

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2014 University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • 2012 Ronald B. Tobias Award for Achievement in Science and Natural History Filmmaking Education
  • 2011 IWFF Wildlife Hero of the Year Award
  • Environmental Film Educator of the Decade Award, Green Globe Film Awards 2010
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, International Wildlife Film Festival, 2009
  • Frank G. Wells Award from the Environmental Media Association for contributing to environmental protection year after years.
  • Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University

Executive Experience

Work In Progress

New book entitled Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker to be published in 2015.

Plus giant screen films on the South Pacific, Humpback Whales, and One World One Ocean.

Professional Presentations

If you would like to invite professor Palmer to speak, email him at palmer@american.edu

Testimonials

Speeches

Workshops

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Wildlife, natural history, and environmental films and filmmaking; ethics of wildlife films; raising money for films; mass media; television; television presenters such as the late Steve Irwin and the late Timothy Treadwell who behaved inappropriately on camera

Additional Information: Chris Palmer is distinguished film producer in residence in American University's School of Communication. He is an environmental and wildlife film producer who has swum with dolphins and whales, confronted sharks, come face to face with Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded hip-deep through an Everglades swamp. Palmer has spent more than 25 years producing more than 300 hours of original programming for prime-time television and the large-format film industry. His films have been broadcast on the Disney Channel, TBS Superstation, Animal Planet, Home and Garden Television, the Travel Channel, the Outdoor Life Network, the Public Broadcasting System, and IMAX theatres. His IMAX films include Whales, Wolves, Dolphins, Bears, India: Kingdom of the Tiger, and Coral Reef Adventure. Palmer joined American University in August 2004. He created and teaches three groundbreaking classes: Producing Environmental and Wildlife Films,which teaches students the keys to being a successful film producer; Classroom in the Wild, which takes students to wilderness areas in Florida, Costa Rica, and Alaska to learn the basics of natural history filmmaking; and Environmental and Wildlife Production, which gives students the opportunity to produce environmental films for network television. He also established the Center for Environmental Filmmaking. The center is driven by the belief that environmental and wildlife films are vitally important educational and political tools in the struggle to protect the environment. It has three signature initiatives: creating partnerships with blue-chip organizations that will give students the opportunity to produce professional films; bringing to the AU campus world-class filmmakers to mentor students; and providing innovative educational programs, such as Classroom in the Wild. In addition to teaching, Palmer continues to produce films, give speeches, and conduct workshops across the country. His book Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom was published by Sierra Club Books in May 2010. He is writing a second book about another kind of wildlife—his three daughters and how to be an effective father.

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.

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