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EcoViews: Reclaiming the Bay airs on MPT

It's great when students find professional outlets for their work and even better when they win awards and kudos from executive producers.  And that is exactly what has happened to American University graduate students for the last three years.  

This year students' three short films about the ailing Chesapeake Bay aired as part of the EcoView series on Maryland Public Television (MPT) on April 19, 2009.   “I was very impressed with the program in every way – the storylines, the high-quality camera work, the excellent editing, and the beautifully planned, executed and integrated graphics,” says Michael English, MPT executive producer. "This program is a perfect primer for viewers who don't know much about the fundamentals of current water quality issues facing the Chesapeake Bay."

MPT isn't the only one impressed. The 2009 episode racked up a slew of awards and recognitions, including a 2010 CINE Golden Eagle Award, a 2009 TIVA-DC Peer Silver Award, a Regional Student Academy Award Winner, and was a 2010 National Student Academy Award Finalist, Documentary category. Reclaiming the Bay is the third edition of Ecoviews produced by professors Sandy Cannon Brown’s and Brigid Maher’s classes that was broadcast on MPT.  

The SOC-MPT partnership is one example of the way SOC faculty leverage their own networks to develop opportunities for students. The idea for the production came from a conversation between professor Maher and MPT’s Steven Schupak at the Center for Social Media’s annual Making Your Media Matter conference. They reached out to SOC Professor and Center for Environmental Filmmaking Director Chris Palmer, who helped to develop the production plan and hosted the program.

Maher’s Motion Graphics class and Sandy Cannon-Brown’s Environmental and Wildlife Production class produce the films—with advice from Associate Professor Larry Engel, who lends 30 years’ experience shooting documentaries on seven continents. Cannon-Brown says: “I pretty much ran the class as a production company.”

In 2007 EcoViews won a Student Emmy from The National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.