Posted by: Celine Cousteau | April 20, 2009

Mother Nature Network


Cousteau, the next generation

In new television specials, Jacques Cousteau’s grandchildren carry on his planet-saving mission.
Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau introduced millions to the wonders of the deep sea via his documentaries, books and conservationist efforts, a legacy his son and grandchildren have embraced with equal passion. For siblings Fabien and Celine Cousteau, who join their father in the latest installment of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Adventures entitled Call of the Killer Whale, a documentary about orcas debuting on PBS Apr. 22 at 8 PM, going into the family business was inevitable.
Celine, who studied psychology, got a Masters degree in intercultural management, worked on sustainable projects in Costa Rica, and worked for a travel company, never lost her love of exploration that was rebooted when she documented the gray whale migration with her father’s team several years ago.
First enthralled by the photos and stories her mother, the expedition photographer, would share, she made her inaugural trip to the Amazon at age nine and it had “a huge impact” on her. Having joined Jean-Michel to film Return to the Amazon in 2006-2007 and visited several times since, she feels a strong tie to the region. “We grew up with the understanding that other people and other places were important in our lives regardless of how far away or remote because we were given the means to make all of those connections early on. I grew up understanding that I’m an integral part of the whole system,” Celine says. “My task is to reconnect people with the natural world to help them understand how they’re connected to that person in the Amazon.”
Fabien is writing an eco-aware children’s book trilogy “about the future of our planet, a fictional account based on reality,” and Celine plans to produce Into the World with Celine Cousteau, a series of short documentaries for TV and new media that will launch next year, probably with a piece set in Peru. “I will not be the star. My role is to help people discover and understand,” she says. “It’s all cultural, environmental context.”
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