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March 2015 // A Ghost in the Jungle

In March 2015, Danny Schmidt and Federico Pardo traveled to the tropical forests of the Magdalena River Valley in Colombia to document the critcally endangered brown spider monkeys.  As a result of the their extreme habitat fragmentation and genetic bottlenecking, albino versions of the spider monkey have began to pop up.  These "ghost monkeys" tell the the story of the fragility of ecosystems, and the need to conserve linkages between unique populations of animals.

The story was featured online at

April 2016 // The Story Continues

In April, 2016 Danny Schmidt, Federico Pardo, and Rick Smith will travel once again to the tropical jungles of the Magdalena River Valley to further document the plight of the area. Our focus on this trip to investigate the science and ecology behind seed dispersal in the tropics and the importance of brown spider monkeys to this area.  This trip is funded in part by our the Howard Hughes Medical Associate (HHMI) BioInteractive Unit.  We will be producing a film that will be released online in the fall of 2016.


Danny Schmidt | Director/Producer/Cinematographer

Daniel works as a documentary film director, producer, and DP for a variety of clients including PBS, National Geographic, NASA, the National Science Foundation, LifeOnTerra, CBS, and many others.  He received his MFA in documentary film in 2012 from Montana State University and his BS in earth science from the University of Utah.      

Federico Pardo | Cinematographer/Field Producer 

Federico holds a BS in Biology and a MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University. His experience has allowed him to document scientific expeditions in Ecuador, Perú, Mozambique, the U.S. and throughout Colombia. Federico’s clients include National Geographic, The Smithsonian, Fusion, Univision, Vocativ, The Chicago Field Museum, and the Humboldt Institute in Colombia, among several other outlets and publications.

Rick Smith | Cinematographer

Rick Smith is a cinematographer and producer for television and documentary films based out of Bozeman, MT.  He has produced films for The Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and his cinematography has been featured on the NBC series “The Island with Bear Grylls,” the NatGeo Wild series “America The Wild” and several award-winning PBS documentaries including “Indian Relay.”  Rick received his MFA from Montana State University and his BA in Biology from Whitman College.