grandisleclass_klmckeeThis website is designed to encourage and inform students, teachers, scientists, and other science professionals who are interested in using video to convey information about themselves, their work, or a topic of interest. Here you will find video tutorials, tips, reviews, and other information that will help you plan, shoot, edit, and publish effective and professional-looking videos.

Videography skills will become increasingly important for the scientist of the future to keep pace with the rapid changes in communications technology and electronic publishing. As demand for more accessible and engaging science information increases and as competition for science jobs, research funding, and space in journals becomes more intense, those scientists with multimedia skills such as videography will be at a distinct advantage. 21st century consumers of scientific information, both technical and non-technical, will expect media-rich content, and science educators and researchers must be prepared to provide it.

Learn How to Create a Video

screenshot_iphoneWatch tutorials to learn, step-by-step, how to design and make a video to demonstrate a new method, produce an online lesson, record a screen presentation, and create other communication products. Tap the image to the left to see a tutorial showing how to shoot and edit a video with a smartphone. For more tutorials, see this list by category (or select Tutorials in the Navigation bar).

Now Available: The Scientist Videographer eBookThe Scientist Videographer Book

This ebook is a detailed how-to for scientists, science educators, and students who wish to make their own videos. This electronic guidebook was created with a new authoring platform to combine text, video, and other interactive content to facilitate learning. This ebook shows how to plan, shoot, edit, and publish an effective and professional-looking science video to demonstrate a new method, record an online lesson or lecture, create supplemental online material for a journal article, produce a virtual tour of a laboratory or experimental facility, to raise online visibility—and many other uses.

Tap here to see the media trailer. Read more about the book on this page (or select eBook in the top navigation bar).

Who Is The Scientist Videographer?

cameraoperator_cartoon_klmckeeI am a research scientist who has discovered the value of having videography skills in my communication toolbox—which in the future will be just as important as writing and oral presentation skills are now for a successful science career. I’ve found that video has not only expanded my abilities to explain and share my science with others, it has benefited my career in ways I never dreamed possible. To learn more about what led me to acquire videography skills and why I think it will be a critical communication skill for the scientist of the 21st century, check out my About page. See the links in Other Science Contributions for more information about me and my research.

My Science Videos

Mississippi River Flood of 2011

Public domain image (U.S. Geological Survey)

In addition to science videography tutorials, I have produced and published several peer-reviewed science videos as well as a number of other videos on various science and science-career topics. I provide links to those videos on My Science Videos page to show how someone with no formal training in videography, media, or science communication can produce effective videos to convey a science message. I made my first science video in 2008 and have since published about 80 videos (including tutorials).

If I can do it, so can you.

The Scientist Videographer Blog

For more information, tips, video reviews and general musings about science communication, go to my blog. Here you will find additional material and links to video tutorials and other instructional information. See recent posts below or select Blog in the Navigation bar.

mangroves_K.L. McKee

Recent Posts


The_Great_Wall_of_China_at_Jinshanling-edit“If you open the window for fresh air, you have to expect some flies to blow in.” That was a favorite saying of Deng Xiaoping, who was referring to China’s economic reform that would ultimately transform the country. China’s decision to open its doors to foreign investment and western knowledge also let in the Internet and foreign ideologies. To keep those “flies” away, the Chinese government has implemented The Great Firewall of China—an Internet censorship and surveillance program.

I’m currently in China where access to social media (Twitter, Facebook), YouTube, Google, and many other sites is blocked. A number of media sites such as CNN and the New York Times are also blocked (you can test whether a website is blocked by using Not only that, the government surveillance encourages self censorship because Internet users believe they are being watched and could potentially suffer legal and economic consequences if they do not adhere to the government policy. The blockage of sites I take for granted at home means I cannot (easily) get to my g-mail, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. In addition to the inconvenience, such censorship is quite disturbing to someone accustomed to Western freedoms and beliefs.

The irony is that it’s possible to jump over the Great Firewall, and many people here do. How that’s accomplished requires an understanding of how the Great Firewall works, which is technically quite interesting. There are three main ways Internet access to certain sites is blocked. The first is IP Blocking, which works by blocking all access to a known IP address. For example, (a domain) maps to a known IP address; any attempt at connection is immediately disconnected (I would get messages saying that the server was unavailable, or the connection attempt would time out). The second way is called IP Address Misdirection, which does exactly what the name suggests. You might type in a url,, but the Firewall will send you to a fake address, The final method is called Data Filtering, in which an Internet search involving certain keywords (e.g., Tiananmen Square) will be intercepted and the content of the resulting URLs examined. If the URL is on the censored list, then access to that site is blocked.

Through the use of VPNs (virtual private networks) and other proxies, Chinese citizens and visitors like me can circumvent the firewall. These work by routing information through a server located elsewhere, for example, California. Your IP address is thus changed so that it appears you are located in the US, and your web activity is also encrypted. This change bypasses the various blocking procedures described above. However, Chinese authorities have begun identifying and blocking some of the more popular VPNs, making it a bit more difficult for the average person to jump the firewall. I found one that is currently working and is allowing me to (so far) post things on banned sites such as Twitter.

I knew about the firewall prior to this trip (having visited China before) and had assumed that Chinese viewers were unable to see my YouTube videos. Chinese colleagues also had mentioned to me that YouTube was not accessible in China. I now know that is not entirely true. In fact, a friend who is from China but lives in the US said that her friends back home told her about “The Scientist Videographer” and video tutorials. They were talking about using a GoPro to capture video, and her friends mentioned a tutorial showing how to shoot and edit a slow-motion video, which showed a hummingbird. After a moment’s confusion, she realized they were talking about someone she knew—me and my YouTube tutorials.

There is much, much more to this topic (see this NY Times article for an in-depth description) than I could cover in a brief post.

Image Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0, uploaded by Brandmeister

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