CMG Fellow Captures Essence of Hurricane Island Through Video

CMG Fellow Wilder Nicholson recently completed a very succesful full-time fellowship with the Hurricane Island Foundation (HIF) focusing specifically on the Hurricane Island's Center for Science and Leadership (HICSL). The overarching aim of the CMG Fellowship was to build HIF's capacity for using video to create engagement and to support thier mission to "integrate science education, applied research, and leadership development through year-round educational programs and a seasonal, environmentally-sustainable island community."

While at Hurricane Island, Wilder worked primarily with Phoebe Jekielek, HIF's Director of Marketing and Outreach, to capture footage for the Foundation's website, blogs and social media, and also completed 3 short videos highlighting different aspects of what occurs on Hurricane Island.  The goal of the media produced was to share why Hurricane Island is a unique place for science education and research and to generate more interest from teachers, students, scientists and other non-profits in participating in the Center's programs. Success of the videos will be based on tracks, views, and the videos’ influence on the number of students who sign up for programs. The films will be used to engage potential participants in HIF's Center for Science and Leadership, a scientific and educational community that provides experiential, hands-on education programs and research opportunities focusing on marine sciences, STEM education, human ecology, sustainable living technology, citizen science initiatives, and leadership in environmental stewardship for all ages from middle school to adults.

Wilder used a variety of film techniques to capture footage to really encapsulate Hurricane Island.  One short clip, Good Morning Hurricane! was captured using a drone - and both HIF will be used on their Instagram and Facebook platforms. The video can be seen here:

Another video uses the timelapse technique to show the docks on the Island over the course of the day:

Wilder completed a dozen or so of these short videos that are ready-to-publish on social media at any time.  Wilder and Phoebe hope these videos will increase web presence and reach a larger audience by providing shorter, alternative ways to see what Hurricane Island is all about. They believe that staggering the release of the videos on Youtube and promotion on Facebook will help generate momentum in interest through the spring leading up to summer programs.

As noted on Wilder's project page, the media generated during the fellowship is over 20 minutes in total length, with seventy plus photographs to be used on the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Learning's website and for their social media.  The 3 main short videos he created are about the Island's sustainable systems, science and research, and education programs. The Sustainable Systems video explains how energy independence is achieved on the island, and how sustainable systems contribute to the unique education experience. The video will be posted on the website’s About Us: Facilities page, giving viewers an inside tour of what to expect at Hurricane Island. The Science and Research video highlights the collaborative, applied science nature of HICSL research, as well as how current research projects–such as scallop aquaculture–lend itself as an education opportunity. The video is currently posted under the website’s Science and Research page. The video about education programs, A Day in the Life, aims to convey students’ experience including traveling to Hurricane Island, interacting with the Island community, learning in outdoor classrooms, and participating in leadership building activities like rock climbing. This film will be posted under the site’s Programs tab. These videos will also be used during conferences and presentations during school visits.  

Wilder described the CMG Fellowship with Hurricane Island to be "overwhelmingly positive" and that "the vibrant community, curiosity for nature, and mindfulness that is brought to energy use and food, all make up the magic of Hurricane and that feeling is tangible to anyone visiting the island. My aim has been to embody that feeling in video and extend it to the digital sphere. I envision Hurricane’s media as not only promoting the island but also bringing a mindful and positive presence to the web. This may be a lofty goal, but it is where my motivation lies with all my film productions now.The CMG Fellowship has also motivated Wilder to make his passion in filmmaking into a career.

We want to thank Wilder for his hard work and true passion for grasping and visually presenting the ins-and-outs of Hurricane Island through video.  With these new videos we hope that viewers will take advantage of all this very special island has to offer. Thank you to Wilder, and a big thank you to Hurricane Island Foundation for hosting him and helping him understand your vision for video!

Learn more about Wilder and his fellowship HERE and learn more about the CMG Fellows program HERE.