Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

CSTPR Seminar

New Coordinates for Environmental Documentary: How have nature and environmental documentaries changed since the internet arrived?, by Bienvenido León, School of Communication, University of Navarra (Spain), FIRST Scholar, University of Colorado Boulder



Free and open to the public. Co-hosted by the Inside the Greenhouse Project.

This talk will be available via webcast here:


Along 120 years of existence, this chameleon-like genre has adapted to many different circumstances. At the very beginning audiences took it for granted that documentary was a legitimate representation of the historical world. However, shortly afterwards, it needed to struggle in a constant search for legitimation. And this was especially relevant when it needed to adapt to a competitive television environment dominated by entertainment, by hybridizing with fiction formats. More recently, the digital tsunami seems to have added a new important driving force: the search for participation. And this new coordinate has added a new challenge, since the referential value of documentary cannot be taken for granted anymore. In the talk, I will discuss some ideas and show a few examples that illustrate how environmental documentary has evolved, in order to adapt to this new ecosystem.

Biography: Bienvenido León is associate professor of science journalism and television production at the University of Navarra (Spain). He has also worked as a documentary film director, scriptwriter and producer for over 30 years. He teaches regularly in other universities of Spain and other countries, and has been a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina and the University of Otago. His research has mainly focused on audio-visual science and environment communication. He is the founding director of the Research Group on Science Communication at this university, and currently the director of the international research project “Online video as a tool for communicating science”. He has published 21 books as author or editor and over 60 peer-reviewed papers or book chapters. Before joining the academic field, he worked as a TV journalist for a decade. He has founded and directed two environmental film festivals: Telenatura (2001-2013) and Urban TV (2002-2014).

León is part of the Summer Session FIRST (Faculty-In-Residence Summer Term) program, which brings prominent scholars and teachers from across the nation to join the ranks of the University of Colorado Boulder's summer faculty. The Office of the Vice Provost for Summer Session sponsors the FIRST program, which broadens both the faculty expertise and the curricula offered to Summer Session students.



Thursday, August 3, 2017
2017 - 15:00





  • CIRES employees
  • CU Boulder employees
  • General Public
  • NOAA employees
  • Science collaborators


  • Seminar
  • Open to Public



Ami Nacu-Schmidt, 303-735-3102


CSTPR Conference Room, 1333 Grandview Ave