The Waterlust Project: Bringing Creativity, Self-Expression & Wider Reach for Research

Univ. of Miami grad student and professional kiteboarder Patrick Rynne spearheads new site, 60K hits first week

Waterlust The Waterlust Project brings scientists, explorers and athletes together in the pursuit of exploring what water means to us. Credit: Stephen Broadbelt

MIAMI — March 7, 2012 — A group led by University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science graduate student Patrick Rynne has set out to change the way scientists disseminate their work to the world. The effort, dubbed The Waterlust Project, is a film project aimed at inspiring a broad audience to consider their relationships with water. Teaming up with GoPro, the manufacturer of the world's most popular action sports camera called the Hero, Rynne hopes to show scientists that making their own films is not only relatively easy, but critical to broadening the impact of their work.

Water covers most of the planet and is vital to our existence. From drinking water to coastal waters used for recreational purposes, everyone has a link to water. The Waterlust Project attempts to connect and educate through this common bond.

“As a marine scientist I've noticed a reluctance by some to embrace film as a legitimate outlet for their work. But why shouldn’t it be?” asks Rynne. “We’re not trying to say that scientific papers and posters aren't important; they serve a definite purpose. But these outlets mostly reach people that already care about what we do. The challenge is how to inspire a wider group of people that don’t already care… that’s the key.“

Although The Waterlust Project is in its infant stages, having only been public since February 24, they have already stirred up plenty of attention. The first video, a montage of water sports and marine science fieldwork has received 60,000 views in just its first week.

So where do they go from here? According to Rynne, the sky is the limit. "Our ultimate goal is to make short films that inspire millions of people to think about their relationship with the environment. We're still a long ways off, but with such a creative, caring community here at the Rosenstiel School, I know we can do it!"

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

patrick rynne •  film project •  research •  photography •  environmental •