2017 UW Climate Change Video Awards: Meet the Judges!

Submissions have been rolling in during the past week, and today is the deadline for the 2017 UW Climate Change Video Contest. After we collect all the videos, we’ll turn them over to our panel of four judges to determine the finalists, which we’ll screen at the UW Climate Change Video Awards on Friday, June 2, 7 to 9 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle!

For the contest this year, we challenged high school students across the state of Washington to create a two-minute ad that will convince a climate change skeptic to take action—with a top prize of $5,000, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. We can’t wait to see how students tackled this prompt, and we’re excited to introduce the distinguished judges who’ll determine the winning videos!

Laura Jean Cronin

Laura Jean Cronin
Laura Jean Cronin has written, directed and produced an array of award-winning short films that played in festivals worldwide, including John Gill, 2000, Block Party, Leave It, Free Parking, Arthur and One Night. Laura Jean also works as a freelance 1st assistant director in the local Indie film and television industry and teaches video production skills to kids and teens at Reel Grrls, an after-school program that gives youth the tools to succeed as leaders through media production. She has recently wrapped Season Six of the Emmy Award-winning PBS show Biz Kid$, where she served as line producer. Currently, Laura Jean is a producer and director at B47 Studios in Seattle.

Melanie HarrisonDr. Melanie Harrison Okoro
Melanie is a water quality specialist and the aquatic invasive species coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, West Coast Region. She earned her doctorate in environmental science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and her research focuses on water quality impacts to federally listed threatened and endangered species. Her passions include mentoring youth as a Big Sister in the San Francisco Bay Big Brothers Big Sister Program, and being an advocate for increasing diversity in STEM fields through her involvement with the American Association of University Women in Davis, Calif.

Cody PermenterCody Permenter
Cody is the social media manager at Seattle-based Grist.org, a nonprofit environmental news organization for people who want “a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.” Before joining Grist, Cody helped lead the social media efforts at viral news site Cheezburger.com and has been published in publications like Thrillist, The Daily Dot and USA Today. He has served on the nominating board for the Shorty Awards for the past three years, an awards program honoring the best of social media in the entertainment industry, and he studied multimedia journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ethan SteinmanEthan Steinman
Ethan is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and owner of the Seattle-based media production company, Daltonic Films. As a producer and director, he has worked over the past two decades on programming for a wide range of media outlets, including NBC, FOX, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel and A&E. During the past several years, he has produced original content for Al Jazeera English, FOX Sports, CNN, Adidas and Major League Soccer, and he directed two award-winning feature-length documentaries, including Glacial Balance, which explores the effects of climate change on Andean glaciers and the people who depend on them for survival.

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The award show and screening is free and open to the public, and we hope you’ll join us to celebrate these talented students!

Ashley Ahearn to Emcee UW Climate Change Video Awards

We are excited to announce that Ashley Ahearn, award-winning environment reporter with KUOW, will be the emcee for our 2017 UW Climate Video Awards show on Friday, June 2, at Town Hall Seattle! This is our third year hosting the UW Climate Change Video Contest, and this year’s award show and screening will feature high school students across the state of Washington who created two-minute ads addressing the prompt, “How do you convince a climate change skeptic to take action?”

In addition to her role as a reporter, Ashley is the host of a new national podcast called Terrestrial, which focuses on the choices we make in a world we have changed (the podcast launched on May 2). Or, as Ashley refers to it, it’s the “we’re f#@ked, now what?” podcast. “We, as a generation, have grown up with some level of awareness and understanding of climate change and what our emissions are doing to the planet,” says Ashley. “And we’re going to be the generation that has to figure out what to do about that—and how to live and adapt in a changed world. That’s why we’re making this podcast.”

Ashley says she’s honored to emcee the award show, and that the way she approaches an episode of the podcast might not be very different from the way these young filmmakers unpack the issue of climate change for audiences, visually.

She earned a master’s in science journalism from the University of Southern California and has completed reporting fellowships with MIT, Vermont Law School, the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island, and the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. She has covered numerous multimedia stories around Washington and the Pacific Northwest, from the Elwha River recovery to an interview with our own Carol Bogezi. In her spare time you’ll find her riding her motorcycle or hiking and snowboarding in the Olympic and Cascade mountains.

Submissions for the 2017 Climate Change Video Contest are due by April 30, and we’ll soon have more details to share about the award show, four judges and opening speaker!

Photo of Ashley Ahearn © Melanie Moore.

Ashley Ahearn at the Duwamish

How Do You Convince a Climate Change Skeptic?

We are very excited to announce the launch of our third annual UW Climate Change Video Contest! Our first two contests inspired some incredibly thoughtful and creative videos, and this year we’re challenging high school students throughout Washington with a new prompt: Create a two-minute ad that will convince a climate change skeptic to take action.

2017_02_2017 FlyerYour ad can be targeted at anyone—the general public, voters, a friend, family member, local politician or world leader. What matters most is the power and effectiveness of your message, from your ability to engage viewers with opposing viewpoints, to the strength of your scientific reasoning. Your video can take on any format imaginable, and we encourage you to get creative (fake news satire, Claymation, sci-fi, music video, film noir mystery, ballet, stand-up comedy routine, rock opera, personal monologue, documentary…and everything else in between).

A top prize of $5,000 awaits the winner, $1,000 for second and $500 for third, and we’ll screen and celebrate the finalists at the UW Climate Change Video Awards at Town Hall Seattle this spring.

The deadline to submit a video is Sunday, April 30, 2017, and we can’t wait to see how students tackle this challenge. So learn more about the contest, and help us spread the word to as many high schools as possible across the state!

2017_02_Blog Announcement

2016 Climate Change Video Awards: Announcing the Winners!

We hosted our second UW Climate Change Video Awards last Saturday, May 14, at Town Hall in Seattle, and it was quite a show!

From our emcee, stand-up economist Yoram Bauman, to our fantastic judges—Dean Lisa J. Graumlich, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and Ethan Steinman—to all of the students, families and friends who came out to watch, we couldn’t have asked for a more positive and inspiring evening. Also, one of the team members on the second-place winner for the undergraduate category, Ben Jensen, is a student in our Environmental Science and Resource Management program!

Yuna Shin, from Henry M. Jackson High School in Bothell, won first prize in the high school category—good for $5,000!

Yuna Shin, from Henry M. Jackson High School in Bothell, won first prize in the high school category—good for $5,000!

Hannah Letinich, our photographer for the show, captured a wonderful range of shots from the evening, so we encourage you to take a look at her gallery (download any images you’d like for free, but please give Hannah credit if you post or share them online anywhere). We’ll be working on getting the winning videos up online to share soon, as well, and in the meantime, below are this year’s finalists and winners.

A huge congratulations to all of them, and to everyone who submitted a video for this year’s contest. These students poured so much time and creativity into these films, and they give us tremendous hope for the future of environmental leadership.

High School

First Place: Yuna Shin, Henry M. Jackson High School, Bothell – $5,000
Second Place: Suraj Buddhavarapu, Naveen Sahi, Allison Tran and Vibha Vadlamani, Tesla STEM High School, Redmond – $1,000
Third Place: Luke Brodersen, Shorewood High School, Shoreline – $500

Other finalists: Julci Areza, Chloe Birney and Tanaya Sardesai from Redmond High School in Redmond, and Aria Ching, Jesselynn Noland, Emily Riley and Emily Weaver from Lynnwood High School in Bothell.

Undergraduate

First Place: Audrey Seda and Tommy Tang, Eastern Washington University and University of Washington – Bothell – $5,000
Second Place: Ben Jensen, Charles Johnson and Anthony Whitfield, University of Washington – $1,000
Third Place: Aaron Hecker, University of Washington – $500

Other finalists: Kennedy McGahan from Gonzaga University, and Malea Saul, Madeline Savage and Bethany Shepler from the University of Washington.

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Special thanks to the Denman Endowment for Student Excellence in Forest Resources for funding the contest.

Photos © Hannah Letinich.

Aaron Hecker, who won third place in the undergraduate category.

Aaron Hecker, who won third place in the undergraduate category, is a student at the University of Washington.

UW Climate Change Videos: Watch the 10 Finalists!

Last week, we announced the winners of the UW Climate Change Video Contest, and now you can watch each of the top 10 entries! Our photographer for the evening, Erin Lodi, has also posted a wonderful gallery of shots from the awards show, and we invite you to take a look and download any images you wish to keep or share.

So grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

Photo © Erin Lodi Photography.

Judges Randy Olson (left), Paul D. Miller and Dean Lisa Graumlich discuss one of the student films.

Judges Randy Olson (left), Paul D. Miller and Dean Lisa Graumlich discuss one of the student films.

 

And the 2015 UW Climate Change Video Contest Winners are…

The first-ever UW Climate Change Video Contest culminated with a smashing awards show at Town Hall last Friday, May 15. We screened the top 10 videos to a great crowd, and our panel of judges— Annie Leonard (also the emcee), Dean Lisa Graumlich, Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and Randy Olson—provided some lively feedback and discussion. We’ll post the 10 finalists’ videos on our website shortly, as well as more photos and information about the students, so stay tuned!

And, now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for—

HIGH SCHOOL CATEGORY

First Place
Leo Pfeifer and Meagen Tajalle
Ballard High School, Seattle, WA

Second Place
Teri Guo, Caeli MacLennan, Kevin Nakahara,
Ethan Perrin and Nivida Thomas
Tesla STEM High School, Redmond, WA

UNDERGRADUATE CATEGORY

First Place
Michael Moynihan and Sarra Tekola
University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Second Place
Erfan Dastournejad
Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA

Congratulations to all of our finalists and winners, and to all of the talented students who submitted so many fantastic videos!

UW Climate Change Video Awards: Meet the Judges!

This winter and spring, we challenged high school and undergraduate students in the state of Washington to grab a camera and show us what climate change means to them in three minutes or less for the first-ever UW Climate Change Video Contest. For months, the entries trickled in, but the pace really picked up during the last week, with a flood of submissions nearly crashing our system in the final hours!

And now the reel fun begins…

Join us at Town Hall on Friday, May 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. for a screening of the top 10 video entries, and see who snags the $5,000 grand prize—one for both the high school and college categories. A renowned panel of judges will be on hand to select the winners and discuss the students’ work.

It’s going to be a great show, and we hope you’ll join us in recognizing these incredibly talented students. The screening and award ceremony is free and open to the public, and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Register now!

Meet the Judges

Annie LeonardAnnie Leonard (Judge and emcee)
Annie Leonard was born and raised in Seattle and is now the executive director of Greenpeace USA. She is also the author and host of The Story of Stuff, an online film series that has been viewed more than 50 million times around the world.

She has visited more than 40 countries investigating the hidden environmental, social and health impacts of all the stuff in our lives, and she has worked for a number of environmental organizations, ranging from Ralph Nader’s office to Health Care Without Harm.

DJ SpookyPaul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky
Paul D. Miller is a composer, multimedia artist and writer. He has created many works based on his travels to the Arctic and Antarctic, including multimedia stage works: “Arctic Rhythms,” “Check Your Math,” “Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica”; art exhibition “Ice Music”; and The Book of Ice, a graphic book that explores the impact of climate change on Antarctica through the prism of digital media and contemporary music.

Miller’s film credits include “Rebirth of a Nation” (2007), a remixing of DW Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation”; original film score for “Downloaded” (2013), a musical documentary about the rise of NAPSTER; and original film score for “Traceable” (2014), a documentary that explores the sustainability of the fashion industry. National Geographic named Miller an Emerging Explorer (2014-2015), and he is currently touring in support of his new book, The Imaginary App.

Randy OlsonRandy Olson
Scientist-turned-filmmaker Randy Olson realized that after 15 years of telling stories OF science he had grown more interested in telling stories ABOUT science. Despite his Harvard Ph.D., four years of post-doctoral research in Australia and Florida, and years of diving around the world from the Great Barrier Reef to Antarctica, he tossed it all in, resigned from his tenured professorship at the University of New Hampshire, and moved to Hollywood to explore film as a medium for communicating science.

In addition to writing and directing his own feature films about major issues in science, Olson has worked with a variety of clients to assist them with the use of visual media in communicating science to the general public. Through his writings he has both related his journey, and continues his exploration into the role of storytelling in the mass communication of science.

Dean Lisa GraumlichDean Lisa J. Graumlich
Dr. Lisa J. Graumlich, Virginia and Prentice Bloedel Professor, is the inaugural dean of the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. As dean, she leads a college with unparalleled depth and breadth in environmental systems: from the forests to the seas, and from the depths of the Earth to the edges of the solar system. As a scholar, Graumlich pioneered the use of tree-ring data to understand long-term trends in climate, focusing on the mountains of western North America. She is actively engaged with a broad range of stakeholders to understand the impacts of climate change on wilderness and natural areas.