ARL Scientist Featured in Award-Winning Student Film, Dust Rising

October 2018

Dr. Daniel Tong, lead author of “Intensified dust storm activity and Valley fever infection in the southwestern United States,” is one of several scientists whose interviews appear in the 26-minute documentary, Dust Rising. Filmed by Lauren Schwartzman of the University of California, Berkeley, Dust Rising was recently named a winner of the Student Academy Award (a.k.a. Student Oscar) by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Dust Rising was awarded a bronze medal in the category of Documentary (Domestic Film Schools) during the 45th Student Academy Awards ceremony on October 11. Held at the world famous Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, the ceremony honored 19 films selected from a pool of 1,582 entries.

First screened at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles on October 7, Dust Rising made its world premiere at New York City’s Imagine Science Film Festival on October 13. Now in its 11th year, the festival is designed to promote high-level dialogue between scientists and filmmakers. Dust Rising was featured in the short film program and panel discussion titled, “Life Lines,” where Ms. Schwartzman was one of four filmmakers who debated the topic, “Science Documentary as Inspiration or Information.”

Dr. Tong with the director, camera operator, and equipment
Dr. Tong's interview in the NOAA library. Credit: NOAA
Dr. Tong with NOAA's Science on a Sphere behind him showing a video of windblown dust and the words "windblown soil" on the screen
A screen shot from one of Dr. Tong's appearances in Dust Rising. Credit: L. Schwartzman.

Dr. Tong’s paper, whose co-authors include ARL’s Dr. Julian Wang, was published in Geophysical Research Letters in May 2017 and featured on that same month in an article titled, “Spike in Southwest dust storms driven by ocean changes.”