Dr. M. Sanjayan is a global conservation scientist, writer and Emmy-nominated news contributor. He is an expert in the human side of conservation, exploring the dependence of our species on the natural world and telling stories of people living with nature.
As executive vice president, Sanjayan leads several divisions for CI including Oceans, Science, Development, Brand + Communications and Strategic Priorities. He is overseeing CI’s pioneering use of virtual reality filmmaking to raise awareness of global conservation issues and led the launch of CI’s first virtual reality film, “Valen’s Reef,” which explores one of the most beautiful and biologically diverse places in the Pacific Ocean.
Sanjayan co-hosted “Big Blue Live,” the PBS and BBC television event showcasing marine life on the Pacific Coast and the first live primetime natural history show on American television. He also hosted the award-winning PBS and National Geographic television series “EARTH: A New Wild,” which was filmed in over 24 countries, and he was a contributor on Showtime’s Emmy-winning series on climate change, “Years of Living Dangerously.”
He has appeared on numerous other programs, including “The Today Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman” and was named to Men’s Journal’s list of the “50 Most Adventurous Men.” Sanjayan holds a master’s degree from the University of Oregon and a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
We live in the Anthropocene—the Age of Man—and not since cyanobacteria transformed the earth’s early atmosphere has one species, humans, had such an outsized influence on the diversity of life on our planet. How to go about saving nature in the human age is understandably challenging. But perhaps we have been asking the wrong question and it’s nature that can actually save us. Dr. M. Sanjayan, a global conservation scientist and executive vice president at Conservation International, will discuss reframing conservation by making it about human wellbeing. He will talk about how human communities are helping nature thrive and how bringing people into the picture—that is, emphasizing that humans are a part of our world’s natural systems and not separate from them—complements traditional conservation tools such as protecting important natural areas.
This guest lecture is hosted by the Asian School of the Environment.