Enhancing Work Through Collaboration

Cinematography students work together and learn from one another.

Everywhere you turn at Emerson, you’ll find people who are as passionately engaged in their interests as you are. You’ll also learn quickly that you want to work with and learn from them because they enhance what you do, and help you get where you want to be. Faculty members Wyatt Oswald and Robert Nesson know this from firsthand experience.

When Robert Nesson, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, began planning his class Filmmaking and the Environment, he immediately thought of his colleague Wyatt Oswald and a meeting they had over coffee a year earlier. Dr. Oswald is an ecologist, and during that meeting they immediately recognized their common interests: the environment. A great partnership was about to begin.

The class focused on the Mystic River, and Dr. Oswald talked about approaching the topic from a scientific perspective. He explained the land-use history of the watershed and its impacts on flooding. In short, he posed a hypothesis, looked at some data, and drew some conclusions; he used scientific thinking to help them frame how they approached their work.

In turn, Professor Oswald has explored using art to communicate science in his Plants and People, Natural Disasters, and Ecology courses. Students develop creative projects to communicate some aspect of the science to their fellow students and the general public. These have included short films, audio podcasts, songs, kids' books, and screenplays.

Professor Nesson’s students' films have been showcased at the Museum of Science, and he has generously given Professor Oswald the opportunity to show a few of the short films from his courses as opening acts.

These two professors are but one example of the culture of collaboration at Emerson. Our energetic and engaged community members take the best of what they can offer and find ways to enhance their work through their connections with others.

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