The Carsey-Wolf Center’s Coastal Media Project is a nine-week summer intensive environmental media production and documentary studies program. Working in teams, students from a wide variety of backgrounds produce short documentary films that focus on our coastal environment. This twelve-credit program is designed to expand the way vital stories are told. It trains students to be thoughtful and informed environmental mediamakers with knowledge of documentary modes and a toolbox of possibilities for creative intervention, including hands-on training with state-of-the-art equipment.
The program includes a multi-day intensive filmmaking trip to the Channel Islands, and culminates in an end of summer film premiere in UCSB’s Pollock Theater.
Summer Gray is a qualitative social scientist and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research examines the social and cultural dynamics of coastal adaptation in a diverse range of contexts and engages with issues of environmental and climate justice. She draws on historical and ethnographic methods and has fieldwork experience in Guyana, the Netherlands, Venice, Japan, and the Maldives. She is currently developing a manuscript on the expansion of seawalls throughout the world. She is also working on a longitudinal study of the aftermath of the Montecito debris flow. She was previously a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Chris Jenkins is head of production at the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, and the instructor for the GreenScreen program. He has been behind the lens of several notable documentaries including Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, The Matador, Riverwebs, CAFWA, Marley and Lost Crops. His work has aired on Netflix, PBS, NHK, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, Travel Channel and Sundance Channel, among others. Prior to receiving his Masters degree in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University, Chris worked in East Africa as a United Nations Volunteer and in southern Chile as an Ambassadorial Scholar.
Ian Kellett is an accomplished field producer, cinematographer, storyteller and performer. Working with National Geographic, BBC, WoodsHole Oceanographic Institution and Ocean X, Ian produced dozens of expeditions connecting media to innovative ocean solutions.
Ian enthusiastically explores new media-landscapes and is endlessly curious about designing innovative outreach strategies. As a director of photography he lensed award winning films including National Geographic’s Defender of the Wild and several globally distributed TV series including Pacific Abyss and Oceans. His lifelong passion is to create transformative experiences and stories that support thriving stewardship of aquatic systems. Ask him about building an editing studio inside a mobile shipping container and the challenges of project managing the design and build of the most advanced deep sea cinematography cameras in the world. An enthusiastic advocate for environmental science and emotional storytelling, Ian has an abiding curiosity for innovative distribution and emergent media technologies. He is a passionate teacher who loves to explore the psychology of influence and how to attune audiences to the natural world.
The program is open to students in all majors, and admission is by permission of the instructors. Students must complete this admissions form by Wednesday, March 15, 2023 for primary consideration. Students will be notified of their admission status by email by Wednesday, March 29. Admitted students will receive further information about enrolling in the program and applying for fellowships. After March 29, any remaining spots in the program will be filled on a rolling basis.
The following three courses are required for all Coastal Media Project students. Students are not allowed to audit any of the courses. Accepted students will receive add codes via email for each of the courses listed below. Once the add codes have been received, students can register online via the GOLD system.
Session A (June 26 – August 4)
FAMST 109EM – Introduction to Environmental Media Production (4 units)
Instructors: Chris Jenkins and Ian Kellett
TTh 9:00 – 11:50 AM
This course is designed to give students the core skills needed to conceptualize, capture, edit, and deliver short-form documentaries with an environmental theme. Basic aspects of cinematography, lighting, sound, and editing are covered.
Session C (June 26 to August 25)
FAMST 182 – Introduction to Environmental Media (4 units)
Instructor: Summer Gray
MW 9:00 – 11:50 AM
This course ties the acquisition of critical viewing skills for film to the practice of conceiving and writing short environmental documentaries. Students screen narrative films and documentaries, deconstruct them, and use their new proficiency to write their own documentary treatments.
Session F (August 7- August 25)
FAMST 109EP – Advanced Environmental Media Production (4 units)
Instructors: Chris Jenkins and Ian Kellett
Schedule: TTh 9:00 – 11:50 AM
This course will have students in the field autonomously producing a short-form digital documentary. Emphasis will be on development of creative style and storytelling. To be taken immediately following FLM ST 109EM. Student-produced documentaries will premiere in the Pollock Theater on the last day of the session.
Current and incoming UCSB students who are admitted to the Coastal Media Project are invited to apply for Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory fellowships. Generously funded by Marc and Lynne Benioff, the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara seeks to improve the health of the oceans by harnessing the power of scientists, innovators, and communities to develop tangible solutions to solvable problems facing marine ecosystems.
The Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory Environmental Media Fellowship supports students in the Coastal Media Project, and empowers the next generation of spokespeople for ocean issues. UCSB students who have been admitted to the program will have the opportunity to apply for a Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory Environmental Media Fellowship. Priority will be given to students with unmet financial need as determined by the Financial Aid office.
The Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory is committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our field of marine science. We proactively strive to bring the voices, intellect, and talents of people of all colors, backgrounds, and identities into science and conservation. We encourage students from historically underrepresented backgrounds in science to apply for this fellowship.
Please complete this form by Monday, May 1, 2023 to apply. Applicants will be notified of their application status by Monday, May 15.
Advisory board members:
Alenda Chang, Film and Media Studies
Mona Damluji, Film and Media Studies
Chris Jenkins, Film and Media Studies
Melody Jue, English
Constance Penley, Film and Media Studies
Janet Walker, Film and Media Studies
May I take other classes in conjunction with the Coastal Media Project? How time intensive is the program?
Accepted students should not plan on taking any other courses outside of the program. Coastal Media Project courses will require a significant time commitment from students, both inside the classroom and in the field.
Will the program take place in person? May I participate remotely?
The program is designed to take place in person, and is not designed for remote participation.
What is the cost of tuition and fees for the Coastal Media Project?
Visit this page for current UCSB summer sessions fees.
Are there any financial resources/stipends to help cover costs?
Complete financial aid packages are available for all new and continuing UCSB students. Students may contact the Financial Aid Office (805-893-2432), or go to the Financial Aid website, for all questions related to obtaining financial aid. UCSB students with demonstrated financial need will also be eligible to apply for a Benioff Ocean Initiative Fellowship.
How do I learn about student housing?
Limited housing is available through the UCSB Campus Housing. The online application process opens in mid April, and students should plan to apply as soon as the housing application opens. Visit this page to learn more.
The Coastal Media Project is grateful to the following individuals for their support of the Coastal Media Project program:
Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Kristi Birney, Alenda Chang, Myles Connolly, Mona Damluji, John Ellerbrock, Mike Folgner, Brian Guerrero, Melody Jue, Kathy Kasic, Liza Kraff, Chimaway Lopez, Mia Lopez, Mark Manning, Constance Penley, David Port, Dr. Jay Reti, Joey Szalkiewicz, Kylie Rae Van De Wyngaerde, Paul Warkentin, and Charles Zablan.
Many thanks to the following partners and supporters: the Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory, Canon Cameras, Gates Underwater Housings, Ocean X, Rancho Vista del Mundo, Scenery, the UCSB Associate Students Coastal Fund, the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies, and the UCSB Santa Cruz Island Reserve.