Rob Nelson was born in Denver Colorado in 1979. Since then he did primary schooling in Texas, completed university work in Miami, Australia, Texas, Oregon, Hawaii and Montana. These, academic pursuits, have taken him to 6 different colleges for classes, and multiple tropical and subtropical habitats for scientific study.
Teaching has always come naturally for Rob. He has taught 7 semesters of undergraduate lab classes in introductory biology, ecology and marine biology. He has also taught classes through Duke in Costa Rica and worked as a field guide in Hawaii. Rob works to improve his teaching style and ability to engage the students. Outside of school, he has worked as a Scuba Dive master and a Nature Tour Guide both which compliment his ability to communicate the wonder of the outdoors with non-scientists. It’s this ideology that has drawn Rob into wanting to produce documentary films.
From an early age, Rob has had an interest in video and story telling. His first short films were pseudo-action hero videos and adventure videos, a style which has never really left his videos. As an undergraduate he saved up money and bought his first 3CCD digital video camera and began shooting wildlife documentaries. He documented first the stories of the Oregon wildlife while working as a Salmon researcher. He then documented two trips to Colorado up multiple mountain ridges. This progressed into making a video for the Army Corp. of Engineers about Aquatic Plants in Texas. After moving to Hawaii, he made several sports-related videos including the UH Swim-team video and a historical film entitled, “Hawaii’s Swimming Legacy”. While working in the Biology Department, the University of Hawaii paid for the production of 12 2-minute long shorts to be played at the beginning of biology lab classes. Then in June of 2003 Rob began the filming of “The Biodiversity of Mexico”, his biggest and most costly documentary yet. In 2004 Rob, along with crew member Joseph Coleman documented a bike ride (Cycling the Last Frontier) from Seattle, WA to Anchorage AK whereby they raised money for the non-profit organization SEACOLOGY. Later that year, after defending his masters thesis in Shrimp-Goby Behavioral Ecology, Rob and Jonas Stenstrom set off to film a documentary entitled, “Hawaii: Biodiversity Forgotten,” a bio-adventure documentary documenting their journey up and over each of the 7 main Hawaiian islands and across the ocean channels.
Currently, Rob is a student at the Montana State University Department of Science and Natural History filmmaking. Future work will entail work with invasive species, and online educational documentaries that teachers can use as educational aids in the classroom.