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Shravan Regret Iyer Awarded Scholarship to Attend Earth Optimism Summit
The MCM student traveled to Washington D.C. for a 25-hour intensive course on environmental conservation.
Shravan Regret Iyer Awarded Scholarship to Attend Earth Optimism Summit

An environmental journalist and filmmaker, SC&I Master of Communication and Media (MCM) student Shravan Regret Iyer has traveled in 10 countries, in three continents, filming wildlife and documenting various conservation measures.

His extraordinary skill and commitment to reporting on the environment – particularly his goal to report on the positive impact some conservation practices and policies are having – recently led him to Washington, D.C. where he presented at the Smithsonian Institution’s 3-day “Earth Optimism Summit,” held from April 21-23, 2017.

Iyer’s work in environment journalism and natural history filmmaking impressed SC&I’s Director of the Master of Communication and Media (MCM) Program, Richard Dool, and Professor and Chair of SC&I’s Communication Department, Craig Scott, so much that they decided to nominate Iyer to the Smithsonian to give him the chance to be awarded a scholarship to the summit so Iyers could represent Rutgers and his work at the event.

The Smithsonian accepted their nomination, awarded Iyer a Smithsonian Scholarship, and invited him to give a short lecture on his work. Iyer presented “Citizen Journalism and Environment Conservation.”

“The scholarship came as a surprise to me,” Iyer said. “I am truly honored to have been recognized by world renowned scientists, conservationists, biologists and wildlife filmmakers from Smithsonian and National Geographic Society… It was a proud moment to represent Rutgers University through my name tag.”

The Smithsonian Institute hosted the “Earth Optimism Summit” as its inaugural “master class” on saving the planet, in honor of Earth Day 2017.

The summit featured over 150 speakers and 1,000 attendees who hoped to refocus the current conversation about the environment. Rather than discussing global conservation initiatives that aren’t effective, the event concentrated on conservation practices that are working, and how they can be expanded upon. The summit also featured events open to the public in D.C., as well as sister events across the globe.

Iyer joined the Rutgers community with significant experience as an environmental journalist and filmmaker. He has filmed 14 short documentaries and authored three books. He particularly enjoys “exploring the unexplored.” His latest project is called 3lenses, where he showcases his travels to ten countries documenting wildlife.

Iyer’s work and interest in environmental conservation was inspired by his father, who is an environmental journalist who writes under the name Regret Iyer. This name stems from the numerous regret letters he received from his early newspaper and magazine submissions. However, those days are long over, and Regret has been internationally recognized for his work, including a Guinness World Record he was awarded in 1989 for his discovery of the world’s biggest tree canopy.

As a student in the MCM program, Iyer hopes to bring some of the summit’s insights back into his work at Rutgers. He says, “At Rutgers, I would like to tell inspiring stories to the people and make optimism realistic. President Barack Obama called Rutgers an intellectual melting pot. I want to contribute by increasing the diffusion of knowledge, especially in environment and natural history by showcasing my work from 10 countries.”

Iyer’s ongoing project, 3lenses, can be found on Instagram and Facebook at @shravanregretiyer. His previous works can also be found on his website.


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