- Additional Positions at AU
- Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking
- 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
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 his two controversial and entertaining memoirs about the dark side of wildlife filmmaking: Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker (2015) and Shooting in the Wild (2010).
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. His latest book is Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College. Visit ChrisPalmerOnline.com for more information about Chris Palmer.
Maryland Public Television
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Park Service
Friends of the Earth
Center for Environmental Filmmaking
MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capitol
Member of the Advisory Council
Population Media Center
International Wildlife Film Festival
Natural Resources Council of America
Green Planet Films
International Film Academy of Jackson Hole
Blue Ocean Film Fest
Filmmakers for Conservation
Co-Founder & former Board Member
- Supreme Court Gets It Wrong with Animal Cruelty Ruling, San Francisco Chronicle
- Making the First Meeting Count, Real Screen
- Conservation and Green Films, Mile High Green
- Marvel at Wild Animals- from a Distance, CNN.com
- Wild Guide - More Is More
- What Is Wildlife Filmmaking?
- Pondering Nature: Do No Harm, Real Screen
- How to Network Effectively, Real Screen
- How to Be a Star Speaker
- How to Increase Your Productivity, Real Screen
- How to Use E-mail Effectively and Efficiently, Real Screen
- 2008 Annual Report for the Center on Environmental Filmmaking
- How to Teach Effectively and Build Student Engagement, Faculty Focus
- Fallen 'Crocodile Hunter' Still has Lessons to Teach about Wildlife, Baltimore Sun
- Producing Films with Nonprofit Organisations, WildFilmNews
- Sojourn in Bear Country: The Making of NWF’s BEARS, The Big Frame
- The "C" Word: Overcoming Conservation's Rep as a Dirty Word, RealScreen
- Guest Column, Dolphin Gazette
- Mystique of the Bengal Tiger - The Making of India: Kingdom of the Tiger, The Big Frame
- Wildlife Filmmaking Ethics, Documentary magazine
- Debate on Shark Week
- How to Ace a Job Interview, Real Screen
- How to Create a Personal Mission Statement, Real Screen
- How to Pitch, Real Screen
- How to Be a Powerful Speaker, Real Screen
- How to Excel at Time Management, Real Screen
- How to Raise Money, Real Screen
- How to Run a Meeting Effectively, Real Screen
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.
- President, One World One Ocean Foundation
- Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking, SOC, American University
- President, MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation
- Chief Executive Officer, VideoTakes, Inc.
- President and CEO, National Wildlife Productions, 1994-2004
- President and CEO, National Audubon Society Productions, 1981-1994
- Ethical conduct in wildlife filmmaking
- The effectiveness of environmental and wildlife films
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award at the International Wildlife Film Festival
- 2015 University Film and Video Association Teaching Award
- 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
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.
Work In Progress
New book entitled Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015)
Plus giant screen films on the South Pacific, Humpback Whales, and One World One Ocean.
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.