Area of Expertise
Wildlife, natural history, and environmental films and filmmaking; ethics of wildlife films; mass media; television; wildlife reality shows, wildlife and species conservation, the production of nature shows
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 Kingdomwas 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.