"Golden Trees" Presented to Student Filmmakers

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Professor Kathi Hoke (left) and Professor Jingjing Zhang (right) present a Golden Tree Award to Anne Brenner (middle)

Since 2002, Maryland Carey Law students in Professor Robert Percival's Environmental Law class have enjoyed an unusual assignment: to form small groups and make a short film about an environmental issue that concerns them. The purpose of the ungraded assignment is to make students think about how to communicate complicated environmental policy issues to the public.

Twelve students in the Fall 2018 Environmental Law class created five films on environmental law. The films addressed a variety of topics including the impact of climate change on Africa and on Maryland agriculture, wilderness preservation, and environmental impact assessment for a public housing development in Baltimore.

On March 13, the Environmental Law Program presented “Golden Tree” awards to the films selected for distinction in eight categories by an independent panel of judges, including Professors Taunya Banks and Kathleen Hoke along with Emmy award winning filmmaker John Brosnan.

Anne Brenner’s film “Perkins Homes” on environmental impact assessment for a public housing project in Baltimore won Golden Tree awards for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, and Most Educational Film. The film “BMore Green” by Dan Baker, Cymone Gosnell, Zach Lee, Stephanie Malchine, and Jared Miles won awards for Best Acting and Best Sound Quality.

The award for Best Interviews went to the film “The Impact of Climate Change on Maryland Agriculture” by Kyla Kaplan, Madeline Spencer, Abby Trumpy, and Alison Venable. Golden Trees for Best Music and Best Special Effects went to “Climate Change in Africa” by Emily Schenning. Vidyhe Iyer’s film “Are Wilderness Areas a Friend or Foe?” won a special judges award for including the cutest family members in the film.

Inspired by the success of Maryland Carey Law’s video assignments, other environmental law professors, including the University of Idaho’s Anastasia Telesetsky, are now including student environmental films in their courses.

The Environmental Law program would like to thank all of the judges and everyone who participated in making the videos and awarding the Golden Trees.

About Maryland Carey Law

The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law was established in 1816 and began regular instruction in 1824. It is the third-oldest law school in the nation, but its innovative programs make it one of the liveliest and most dynamic today. Maryland Carey Law stands among five other professional schools on the Founding Campus of the University of Maryland. It has taken advantage of this location to become an integral part of the Baltimore-Washington legal and business community.