Rob Nelson was born in Denver, Colorado in 1979. He attended primary school in Texas, completed university work in Miami, Australia, Texas, Oregon, Hawaii and Montana. These academic pursuits have taken him to six different colleges for coursework, and multiple tropical and subtropical habitats for scientific study.
Teaching has always come naturally for Rob.He has taught seven semesters of undergraduate lab classes in introductory biology, ecology and marine biology. He has also taught classes for Duke University's Talent Identification Program (TIP) in Costa Rica. Rob continually works to improve his teaching style and ability to engage his students. Outside of school, he worked as a Scuba Dive master and a Nature Tour Guide in Hawaii improving his ability to communicate the wonder of the outdoors with non-scientists. It is this passion for science and education that has inspired Rob to produce documentary films.
From an early age, Rob had an interest in video and story-telling. His first short films were action hero and adventure videos, a style which has never really left his videos. As an undergraduate he saved up money and bought his first 3CCD digital video camera and began shooting wildlife documentaries. His first documentaries featured stories of Oregon wildlife while working as a Salmon researcher. He then documented two trips to Colorado along multiple mountain ridges. This work lead to a video project for the Army Corps of Engineers about Aquatic Plants in Texas. After moving to Hawaii, he made several sports-related videos including the UH swim team video and a historical film entitled, “Hawaii’s Swimming Legacy”. The University of Hawaii Biology Department funded the production of 12, 2-minute shorts to be played at the beginning of biology lab classes. Then in June of 2003, Rob began filming “The Biodiversity of Mexico”, his biggest and most costly documentary to date. In 2004, Rob and crew member Joseph Coleman documented their bike ride (Cycling the Last Frontier) from Seattle, WA to Anchorage, AK and raised money for the non-profit organization SEACOLOGY. Later that year, after defending his masters thesis in Shrimp-Goby Behavioral Ecology, Rob and Jonas Stenstrom set off to film a documentary entitled, “Hawaii: Biodiversity Forgotten,” a bio-adventure documentary following their journey over each of the seven main Hawaiian islands and across their ocean channels.
Currently, Rob is a student at the Montana State University Department of Science and Natural History Filmmaking. As part of his masters thesis work he is filming in Panamanian rainforests to develop new ways of communicating science to students over the web.
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