AOOS Film Contest Highlight – NPRB Gulf of Alaska Project: Coastal Groundfish Nurseries

Liz McKenzieNPRB Gulf of Alaska Project: Coastal Groundfish Nurseries was produced by Liz McKenzie and entered in the 2014 AOOS Short Film Contest. The film focuses on the nearshore studies element of the Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem Research Program (GOAIERP), giving a close-up look at one GOAIERP scientist’s research. Olav Ormseth explains how some commercially valuable fish that we usually associate with distant pelagic waters of the Gulf of Alaska actually depend on the nearshore coastal areas early in their lives.  So the study demonstrates that these fish don’t just need a part of the ocean – they need the whole ocean.  The video also shows how science can reveal a hidden world in the backyards of many Alaskan communities, and how the lives of some fish connect the deep, distant ocean with the waters right next to shore.

Liz McKenzie is a writer and filmmaker based in Sitka, Alaska. Her work focuses on public outreach and education in the areas of Alaska nature, science, and traditional ecological knowledge.  More of her work can be seen at and “Working on the North Pacific Research Board Gulf of Alaska Project videos was an incredible experience. The scientists became part of my film crew—helping me to understand their research, guiding me to important points to make in the films, and even contributing beautiful and important footage. I love that the films were narrated by some of the researchers—they speak eloquently about their work, with an authority that only they could bring to the story.”

See the full list of contest films.

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