Storyfest 2017


We are very pleased to announce the Storyfest 2017 finalists — five of which will be heading to the Brazilian rainforest with the "Godfather of Biodiversity" Tom Lovejoy and Emmy Award-winning journalist Frank Sesno in mid-June. The grand prize winners of this once in a lifetime storytelling expedition will be announced at the 2017 Planet Forward Summit in Washington, D.C., on April 6-7. Register now to attend!

While our grand prize winners are in the hands of our expert judges, would you like to choose your favorite? Vote in the Fan Favorite poll!

Finalists are sorted by category below.

The Innovator Award:

- An American in India by Kara Morgan, Northeastern University

- Fires of the future: Meet the Oregon innovators fighting global pollution with rocket stoves by Jacob Lebel, Umpqua Community College

- Great Scott! Meet the modern day Doc Brown by Amanda Menas & Zoe Spielvogel, The George Washington University

- Learning from a native perspective with Robin Wall Kimmerer by Zachary Smith, SUNY-ESF

- Redefining progress by Jayme Dittmar, University of Montana


The Right Brain Award:

- Don't kill my buzz by Nolan Hausler & Emily Robinson, The George Washington University

The language of birds by Tomasz Falkowski, SUNY-ESF

Protecting not protesting by Alexandrea Rager, Colorado State University

- The Simple Life by Darby McGlone, Sewanee: The University of the South

- Taking notes from the planet: Mobile Bay National Estuary Program’s watershed project by Harrison Watson, Jackson State University


The Left Brain Award:

- Bringing back bald eagles by Carrick Palmer, SUNY-ESF

- Chestnut revival: How genetics could bring back an American giant by Olivia Iannone, SUNY-ESF

- Green infrastructure: A calm after the storm by Dan Douglas, SUNY-ESF

- Island style ingenuity by Matilda Kreider, The George Washington University

- Puerto Rico: A 'canary in the coal mine' for climate change by Janice Cantieri, Northwestern University


The Visionary Award:

- Helping the homeless with Miriam’s Kitchen by Luca Silveira, The George Washington University

Pedestrian streets: The scalability of Strøget by Nathaniel Wiener, Middlebury College

Power walking with purpose: Kinetic energy pathways by Natalie Maher, The George Washington University

Stewards of the sea: Community Supported Fisheries charting a new course for Oregon's seafood industry by Jacob Lebel, Umpqua Community College

- This brunch is grown in the restaurant's basement by Aishvarya Kavi & Annabel Epstein, The George Washington University


The 22nd Century Award:

- Algae: Fuel for the future by Sera Royal, The George Washington University

- Food of the future: How an open-source computing project could revolutionize what we eat by Olivia Iannone, SUNY-ESF

- Paper houses: How one company is revolutionizing the architecture industry by Sydney Greene, Arizona State University

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
The environmental movement tends to portray humans as this evil parasite sucking the life from this world. I'm not arguing that humans aren't altering the earth at an alarming rate, but the issue is much more complicated than the way we portray it.
Umpqua Community College
Dr. Larry Winiarski and the Aprovecho Research Center are working to bring clean-burning and efficient cookstove technology to developing countries.
Colorado State University
The Keystone Pipeline threatens the livelihood of the Sioux Tribe, ardent advocates of the sanctity of their land and the water which flows through it.

(Photo courtesy Chris Palmer)

American University
Students at American University are using filmmaking as a tool to raise awareness about preserving and fostering vital ecosystems.
CTARA Workshop
Northeastern University
I interview a fellow NU student, Tavish Fenbert, working at CTARA, the Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas, a graduate program at the Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay, in Mumbai, India, in the following podcast.
This brunch is grown in the restaurant's basement.
This brunch is grown in the restaurant's basement.
The George Washington University
The creation of this urban microgreen farm and its dedicated partner, a sustainability-mindful pub/restaurant, took takes passion, dedication, innovation — and a good helping of risk. 
A short project on the danger of sugar and salt consumption.
A short project on the danger of sugar and salt consumption.
George Washington University
This is a short film where a young woman learns what her ordinary snack looks like in terms of sugar and salt. This is a PSA short.
You have all seen the Lion King right? Well if not, you haven’t seen the dynamic duo Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and warthog. These guys chow down on insects that are found wherever they go and eat them as if they were a delicacy, but that’s the... Read More
Dupont Circle Fountain

The Dupont Circle Fountain is a lively D.C. attraction and the center of a popular WalkUP. (Creative Commons)

George Washington University
Whether you’ve narrowly avoided an aggressive driver, or have only experienced L.A.'s traffic jams through “La La Land’s” opening musical number, just hearing the words driving and city in the same sentence can drive you crazy.

(Photograph courtesy Housing Sewanee.)

Sewanee: University of the South
I created a storymap on ArcGIS online to describe Housing Sewanee's new project, which will consist of seven nearly self-sustaining homes. The project's story and impact, however, extends far beyond the homes themselves.