Courses

Graduate students may concentrate their studies in environmental and wildlife filmmaking through the Center for Environmental Filmmaking. Some courses are entry-level graduate courses, others advanced specialized graduate courses, and still others electives. Please consult with the director, Chris Palmer, or the associate directors about the concentration, and also consult with the director of the Film and Media Arts program, John Douglass. You should map your course plan for each semester in careful consultation with faculty advisors and Center directors.

Required and Entry-Level Courses: In most required courses and other Film and Media Arts entry-level courses (such as Writing for Visual Media, Film & Video Production I and II, Principles of Photography, Digital Imaging, and introductory new media production classes) students may work on environmental and wildlife assignments and final projects with the approval of the teacher.

Concentration Courses

This class is subtitled "The Art of Producing" because virtually everything you learn in the class is relevant and helpful to whatever film-related career you are thinking of entering. In fact, some students take it who aren't even going into filmmaking because of what they get out of the class. 

The class examines the goals, strategies, and tactics necessary to produce films or new media. 

Students research issues, create stories, find characters, pitch ideas, develop proposals, write treatments, identify audiences, sell films, and work with nonprofits. You'll learn about ethics, citizen activism, and raising money. You'll learn what it takes to become a successful producer and hear first-hand about the ins and outs of the industry. Guest speakers come from organizations like Discovery and National Geographic. 

There are no prerequisites, except a passion to learn, make a difference and succeed. Open to juniors, seniors, and grad students and is offered every semester. 

Please email Professor Chris Palmer to learn more about the class or if you would like to receive a copy of the syllabus. 

Would you like to get a PBS credit on your resume? Then consider taking a fascinating class with Mike English called Environmental and Wildlife Production

This class has a special relationship with a major PBS station, Maryland Public Television (MPT). The class produces a half-hour program which is broadcast on MPT at prime time. 

Graduate students in film and video and journalism are invited to register for COMM-568-001. Prerequisites may be waived with permission of the school or the instructor. If you have professional or academic experience in production or broadcast journalism. Undergraduates who meet the prerequisites are also invited to register. 

If you have any questions about your qualifications for the class, please contact Professor Chris Palmer. 

Classroom in the Wild offers students direct field experience during semester breaks and summer vacations. They are short but intensive noncredit courses. Specific fees apply for each course.  

Advanced Courses

Students in the concentration are encouraged to design their course work in close consultation with their instructors so that environmental and wildlife topics are investigated. Check out the courses that are recommended for the concentration. 

  • COMM-596: Advanced Writing for Documentary Film
  • COMM-511: History of Documentary
  • COMM-512: Social Documentary
  • COMM-686: Documentary Production
  • COMM-513: Producing Film & Video
  • COMM-638: Production Practicum: Web Development
  • COMM-638: Production Practicum: Blogs and Dynamic Sites

Electives

To encourage scientific, environmental, and biological underpinnings of the field, the department has reached out to faculty in CAS, who have agreed to accommodate our graduate students in their science courses. Consult your advisor and the appropriate faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences who teach undergraduate in environmental subjects. 

  • BIO-340: Marine Biology
  • BIO-342: Marine Mammals
  • ENVS-3/5XX:Science and Policy of Biodiversity
  • ENVS-3/5XX: Science Policy of Sustainability