Nick Tucker is an SOC graduate film student and graduate assistant for The Center for Environmental Filmmaking(CEF). With a background in conservation science and conservation biology, Tucker initially took interest in pursuing a PhD in wildlife biology, film and photography. However, he quickly realized his main interest included conservation-focused media and found his way to AU, where he applied for a graduate assistantship with CEF. While working at the center, he has been a part of the team that has revitalized its social media accounts, and he’s had his hand in managing the Eco-comedy Video Competition for three years. This year, due to the “new normal,” he transformed the competition into an online submission format.
The film student hopes to become a more fluent scientific communicator. “I find scientific communication to be often jargon-filled and difficult,” he said. “When it comes to conservation media, you just show a beautiful giraffe that you can help save. My hope is to be a part of a wave of a middle ground where we can say, ‘Look at this beautiful giraffe you can save. This is how many of these giraffes are left, and these are the conservation efforts you can help out with to save them.”
Tucker appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the small community of conservation filmmakers. He explains that his filmmaking experience in the past has always been dominated by men, and is grateful for a new experience working with women at AU. “I’ve been working with all-female filmmakers, including my boss [Prof.] Maggie Burnette Stogner who’s just awesome,” he emphasized. “She’s a powerhouse producer.”
The filmmaker finds that media representation is important to display equality and equity properly. “Communications and media, for forever, has been used as a means to misrepresentation, to marginalize people and silence voices,” he said. “But now that we’re in a mass information era, we really have to recapture media and turn it into a tool of representation.” During his undergraduate career, Tucker learned about environmental racism and inequality issues from a close friend who was an environmental and social activist in the Bronx. “He introduced me to the greater movement towards equality in America,” he reminisced. “I grew up in an international community, so the idea of American equality was very jaded and did not understand the kind of inequality that existed.” When it comes to working in communications Tucker shares, “having a diverse set of opinions from a diverse set of people gives you a more complete image of a complex situation.” That complete image is ideal for documentary and journalistic content, he explained.
The graduate student sees a more equitable future as one where the representative government directly mirrors its population. “Let’s say there’s 50-percent women and 50-percent men, then the representative government would represent that,” he said. In addition, he believes that while an equitable future seems like a “huge dream,” he has high hopes for collectivism and equal access to technology. As an environmental filmmaker, Tucker hopes to continue using his studies to push valuable messages of diversity. “In my documentaries, I want to show voices that people wouldn’t necessarily hear from,” he explained. “I want to make sure that I include a diverse amount of opinions of events that occurred to show everyone viewing my content that all opinions are of value.”
Graduate film student Nick Tucker uses his background in conservation science and conservation biology to tell stories that amplify diverse voices within environmental activism.