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The Role of a Field Biologist in Conservation Storytelling

Nature videos filmmaker in Canada

The Role of a Field Biologist in Conservation Storytelling

From firsthand experience, I can tell you this: Field biologists have loads of stories working for conservation. Often, though, many of these stories stay within the walls of the organization.

I know that for my filmmaking work, the videos that have the most success and drive the most actions for conservations are one that feature field biologists sharing their stories. That’s because field biologist are at the heart of where the work is done. During field season it’s often messy, muddy, buggy, hot and cold, long days, yet they endure it all for the work they do.

Field biologists are uniquely positioned to be the storytellers of the natural world, using their experiences to educate and inspire the public about conservation.

Here’s why they are pivotal in conservation storytelling:

1. Firsthand Experience: Field biologists see the successes and challenges of conservation every day. Their personal direct-from-the field anecdotes and observations bring authenticity and immediacy to conservation messages.

2. Visual Storytelling: With a camera in hand, field biologists often capture stunning images and video snippets of wildlife and landscapes. These visuals are powerful tools for raising awareness and evoking emotional responses from the audience om Instagram. But can these insight be further leveraged in the creation of storytelling videos? YES! (P.S. If you’re not sure, check the comments on all those Instagram posts. People still have so many questions!

3. Scientific Insights: By translating complex scientific data into relatable stories, field biologists help demystify science for the general public, making it accessible and engaging.

4. Inspiring Action: Stories from the field often highlight the interconnectedness of human and environmental health. These narratives can foster a sense of responsibility and urgency to protect our natural world. Field biologists are often a Call-to-Action machine of key messages that rarely get heard beyond the field or TikTok or Instagram. A more full professional film or video will help take audiences on a deeper journey that increases the likelihood of action.

Field biologists have numerous platforms to share their stories:

1. Social Media: Platforms like Instagram, X, and Facebook allow biologists to reach a global audience instantly with photos, videos, and updates from the field. Yes, special media is powerful. Just remember there’s a difference between snippets and long-form videos, and there’s a difference between the audiences that consume each medium.

2. Documentaries and Films: Collaborating with filmmakers to create documentaries or long-form videos brings their work to a larger audience, combining compelling visuals with powerful narratives.

3. Public Speaking and Workshops: Engaging with schools, universities, and community groups through talks and workshops helps spread conservation messages locally and regionally.

4. Blogging and Vlogging: No matter what you’ve read, blogging is still powerful. That’s because SEO (Search Engine Optimization) makes your blog posts disscoverable by millions of Internet searchers. Or maybe your your target audience. Either way, blogs are not dead in 2024, regardless of whom says they are. And then there’s vlogging. YouTube, the second biggest search engine on the planet after Google, is a great place for field biologists to use theor smartphones to dive deeper into their experiences and research, providing detailed insights and fostering a connection with readers. And the videos don’t have to be long.

5. Citizen Science Projects: Involving the public in data collection and conservation projects makes people active participants in scientific discovery and environmental stewardship.


Field biologists are not just scientists; they are the storytellers of our planet’s most critical narratives. Through the art of storytelling, field biologists can turn scientific observations into compelling tales that inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation of our natural world.

Gregg McLachlan
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