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  • Writer's pictureIntelliReefs NanoTech Team

Michelle Sanders: Ancient Turtles to Ocean Wildlife

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

We met an incredibly talented wildlife filmmaker, Michelle Sanders at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival She had done a marvelous interview of Dr. Sylvia Earle, our Ocean Heroine.

When the Waitt Foundation funded Phase Three of the Coral Monitoring on our IntelliReefs Caribbean MPA sites; we asked Michelle to join the film team!

Michelle is a Freelance Video Creator at the Turtle Conservancy, NY helping the organization’s mission and raise awareness for turtle conservation. Researching and developing creative projects in documentary and narrative formats; she is currently working on a forthcoming project about scent, science, and the senses.

"Showing through film, how we can connect to the ocean and rewild our ecosystems is my biggest passion, and why I'm dedicated to science media. It's so exciting to be part of the IntelliReefs project because they are at the forefront of coral reef innovation"

"I felt so lucky to be part of the IntelliReefs team, and to document innovation in action.The trip was such a dynamic experience, from discovering that octopus living in the center of the IntelliReef, to hearing that there were wild coral spawns that landed on the substrates. I'm so excited to part of this project and to see how it develops and scales." Michelle Sanders

My film goals:

"My dream is to document how people relate to the Ocean, and to show what a sustainable coexistence with the Earth can look like. That's why this project is so interesting to me-- Reef Life Foundation has created smart oceanic substrates that help biodiversity thrive. I met Melody in Jackson Hole last fall, and it was incredible how welcoming she was to bringing a young filmmaker onto the project. I'm grateful for the chance she gave me to tell this story."

Film Clip Below from Michelle, details IntelliReefs Substrates in St. Maarten, which support coral recruits, marine bristle worms, diverse sponges, tunicates, and algae who all together, make up a healthy reef hardscape with nearly 100% benthic coverage of marine bio-diversity, feeding fish and myriads of other ocean animals!

IntelliReefs Project History: Sint Maarten Deployment in Caribbean 2018

Initial Reef Life Smart Substrate Prototype Film

Above taken by Ian Kellet who lead the IntelliReefs film team in Sint Maarten

The recent documentation team for the IntelliReefs project includes: Ian Kellett, Emily C. Higgins, Colleen Flanigan, Josh Hanes and the Eco Blue Projects team with Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern and the Nature Foundation SXM teams.

For more information on her work:

@intellireefs @reeflifefoundation @waittfoundation

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