Back in 2011, I presented a paper at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference that included a survey of how many ocean related shows were on TV relative to shows about terrestrial topics. As you might guess, ocean related shows were uncommon, and shows about Pacific Northwest waters were quite rare.
Today I thought I’d take another look, but instead of looking at TV shows, I used Google to search for web series. These are like TV shows, but typically much shorter, online, and independently produced.
The overarching question was: “are we progressing in terms of broadening our interests from our immediate surroundings to the wider ecosystem, in particular the ocean that occupies the vast majority of our planet?”
The results of this quickie informal study were pretty much as expected. In general, there is far more focus (orders of magnitude more) on terrestrial and interpersonal issues than on marine ecosystem issues. One good surprise was a web series from 2009 taking the viewer along on a marine research expedition.
Titled Bering Sea Ice Expedition: Adventures at Sea, this series of 6 episodes of under 10 minutes each. Filmed and produced by Gaelin Rosenwaks, she shows some of the logistics, some of the science, and assorted highlights of doing fieldwork in an environment that most people never get to see. Having spent a lot of time myself on research ships over a 20 year period, much of the seagoing science sampling was pleasantly familiar, even though I spent most of my time in the tropics and never made it to the frozen waters of the Bering Sea.
Gaelin’s company, Global Ocean Exploration, is devoted to bringing cutting-edge expedition research science to the public through photography, writing, and film. I highly recommend these webisodes to anyone curious about science at sea or near the earth’s North pole.