Here, university students share their own short video creations of beautiful vistas, wildlife, and outdoor adventure with a chance to earn recognition (including cash prizes) for their creativity and love for nature. This site helps students activate positive change in our world through creative energy and love for nature. It offers a vision of the natural world through the student lens, a vision that our world is simply dying to see.

The Dept. of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at CSU works with students and sponsors to support these passions. Every Fall semester, students can submit on this site any number of short videos (under three minutes and 2 GB max). Every spring, three students will win $1,000 apiece for the top entries in three categories: Adventure, Natural Wonder, and Humor. An awards reception / film festival event in April brings together nature video enthusiasts to deliver swag, celebrate sustainability, and honor many of the year’s top submissions.


Our Goals:

  1. Creativity. Recognize and reward student passion for nature expressed through their own short video creations.

  2. Awareness. Galvanize public awareness of nature, sustainability, and adventure.

  3. Sustainability. Increase student engagement in sustainability action through friendly competition among university students.

  4. Collaboration. Strengthen partnerships and visibility for college students, CSU programs, and environmentally-minded businesses / organizations.

Category Overviews

Filmmakers must self-select the category they feel best fits their short video. Again, footage can be raw or purposely edited and must be below 2GB in size and < 3 min in length. Category descriptions and examples are described below.


These videos emphasize humans enjoying the outdoors. Example topics falling under this category include:

  1. Cultural tourism (e.g., food, study tours, performing arts, festivals/cultural events, ethnic/indigenous tourism, sites and monuments, folklore/art, pilgrimages, etc.)
  2. Extreme sports/adaptive extreme sports
  3. Canoeing/kayaking
  4. Camping / hiking
  5. Ecotourism
  6. Skiing / snowboarding
  7. World travel (e.g., international adventure, cultural exchange, etc.; this category reminds us that humans are part of nature, not separated from it)
  8. Climbing

Natural Wonder

These videos emphasize the natural world, including human effort to protect it. Example topics falling under this category include:
1. Sustainability (e.g., climate change mitigation)
2. Nature conservation
3. Protected areas (e.g., National Parks)
4. Flora / fauna
5. Landscapes / seascapes
6. Environmental communication (e.g., outdoor educational programs, interpretive signage, etc.)


These videos emphasize any occurrence in nature giving us a chuckle. These can be prepared in advance or random occurrences, and human involvement is optional. Example topics falling under this category include:
1. Gaffes
2. Surprises
3. Satire
4. Singing / dance routines
5. Jokes

Note: Any video at odds with CSU’s Code of Student Conduct will not be released for viewing, nor considered as a viable entry for the Film Festival competition.

Judging Criteria


  • Video submissions for each category will be reviewed in the Spring by a neutral committee of students and faculty not participating in the competition.
  • Judging criteria:

•    Sizzle (overall “wow” factor based on what the judge / viewer / audience experiences while viewing; i.e., is it interesting?)

•    Production quality (sound, imagery, lighting, etc.; i.e., is it technically/aesthetically intact?)

•    Impact (measures what the judge / viewer / audience is thinking and feeling while interacting with the story, setting, “characters” – e.g., wildlife, plants, people; etc. – and overall message of the video; i.e., is it inspiring?)