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 about microdocs

A microdoc is a 2-3 minute documentary about one topic. These sustainability microdocs each feature one aspect of sustainability. They are divided into two main sections:

Elements of Sustainability
This section defines sustainability and explores the 4 elements that influence and shape ecosystems:

  1. Productivity
  2. Diversity
  3. Disturbance
  4. Resilience

Understanding how these elements affect ecosystems and how we alter them helps us understand our impact on the environment.

Sustainability on Coral Reefs
These microdocs give examples of sustainability issues in a real ecosystem – the coral reef. Coral reefs are highly diverse areas that provide vital resources for millions of people. This environment faces many threats and examining these helps to illustrate what occurs when ecological balance is changed. The same 4 elements operate in all ecosystems – and other ecosystems could be used as an example. We chose coral reefs because they are visually beautiful, under severe threat, and the film company will go there for free.

 about the series creators

Steve Palumbi
Harold A Miller Professor of Marine Science, Department of Biology
Director, Hopkins Marine Station
Stanford University

Steve PalumbiSteve's research group includes students and post-doctoral fellows actively engaged in study of the genetics, evolution, population biology and systematics of a diverse array of marine organisms. Steve's own research interests are similarly widespread, and he has published over 100 papers on the genetics and ecology of a variety of marine and terrestrial systems. A major focus of Steve’s laboratory work is on the conservation and management of marine populations based on insight from molecular genetics. This approach has been applied to the design and implementation of marine protected areas for conservation and fisheries enhancement, as well as to reconstruction of past population sizes of baleen whales, and the identification of whale and dolphin products available in commercial markets.  He has co-organized a working group at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis on Marine Protected Areas, co-organized a American Association for the Advancement of Science symposium on this topic, and has prepared a report on marine reserves as ecosystem tools for the Pew Oceans Commission.

Communication to non-scientists is a core part of Steve’s activities. He recently published a book for non-scientists that exposes the impact of humans on evolution, particularly of disease and pest organisms. The Evolution Explosion (WW Norton, NY) describes in non-technical language the process of evolution.  In addition, Steve helped write and research and also appears in a new TV series The Future is Wild (BBC, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel) that explores the way evolution may shape the animals and plants of the world 5 million, 100 million and 200 million years in the future. Continuing projects include expanding the Microdoc: Short Attention Span Science Theater to include other ecosystems, and completion of a CD with Steve’s studio band Sustainable Soul.

Steve holds a Pd.D. from the University of Washington, and a BA from The Johns Hopkins University. He has received numerous awards for research and conservation, including a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation.

Dan Griffin

Dan GriffinDan has shot in over 20 countries. He's interviewed, filmed, worked with some of the most notable, interesting and challenging people in the world. Excelling at telling the stories of technology, Griffin is known as one of the best interviewers around. Soliciting and shaping compelling content, Dan's experience lets GG Films create incredible videos that deliver a great message, on time and on budget.


Palumbi Lab
Hopkins Marine Station
Stanford University
Garthwait & Griffin Films

           All content property of microdocs project.                                                                                                                          Last updated April 11, 2012.
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