About Us

LifeOnTERRA is the award-winning sci­ence and nat­ural his­tory pod­cast series that explores the natural connections that propel life on Earth. Overseen by graduate students in the MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program at Montana State University, TERRA distributes independently produced science, nature, cultural, and environmental films. We are proud to bring you these unique stories from around the globe that celebrate the wonders of the natural world.

THE TEAM

  • Dennis Aig

    Senior Executive Producer
    Dennis Aig has produced and/or directed both documentary and dramatic productions for the Walt Disney Company, National Geographic Television, PBS, Lifetime Television, the Outside Channel, the History Channel, and the Independent Television Service (ITVS). His projects have ranged from a documentary about bone marrow transplant patients at UCLA Medical Center to two behind-the-scenes specials about feature films directed by Robert Redford. His major works include Shadow Casting: The Making of “A River Runs Through It,” Visions of Grace: Robert Redford and “The Horse Whisperer,” Guide Season, Sacred Journey of the Nez Perce, Test Pilots of the Body, and America’s Outdoor Heritage. Aig’s works have won over 100 awards since 1993, including three regional Emmys, a Gold Hugo from the Chicago Film Festival, 12 Tellys, and the Gold Medal from the New York Festivals. A PhD from The Ohio State University with advanced work in English and film, Aig is also a tenured Professor of Media and Theatre Arts at Montana State University-Bozeman.
  • Gianna Savoie

    Executive Producer
    Gianna Savoie is an award-winning Natural History filmmaker with a passion for the environment that drives her to sink her teeth into some of the most critical conservation issues on the planet. Holding a Master’s degree in Environmental Biology, she pairs her love of science with the art of filmmaking to craft stories that she hopes not only inform, but inspire. Her work has been featured on PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, the BBC, and Animal Planet. In 2010, Gianna wrote and produced, Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom for the PBS series, NATURE which was nominated for an Emmy for “Outstanding Nature Program.” She is currently writing and story-producing, a theatrical feature documentary about the Pacific Ocean, called Our Blue Canoe. And in her quest to “pay it forward,” Gianna teaches in the MFA program for Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University, Bozeman. For her, the opportunity to mentor this superbly talented generation of environmental storytellers is not only an honor, but truly a gift.
  • Liz Wilk

    Senior Producer - Social Media
    Far away from her native South Side of Chicago home, Liz is currently pursuing an MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University. After obtaining a degree in History and an interest in archaeology that took her from New Jersey to Ireland to Central Illinois, Liz could not shake her interest in making films. Armed with a camera, she now aims to connect viewers with the rest of the world by learning about little known issues or subjects concerning the human experience. Her resume now includes running the Element Film Festival, working as an assistant-editor for Montana PBS, Birdman Productions, and Devolution Films, and helping to teach filmmaking to others as an Teaching Assistant. Currently she is helping in the production of a new planetarium film about gravitational waves and blackholes, and as a Graduate Research Assistant for the recently created Center for the Communication of Science housed in the School of Film and Photography at Montana State University. In her free-time, Liz enjoys photography, getting outdoors, and – every once in a while – binge watching some of her favorite shows and despite desperately wanting a dog, she is living happily in Bozeman with her pet fish Claudia.
  • Patrick Tormey

    Producer - Episodes
    Patrick’s past includes a range of artistic mediums including puppetry, set/prop design, drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, and filmmaking. In 2011, he received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Within his anthropological studies, he focused on archaeology, animal behavior, and human evolution. He then decided to trade the Pacific ocean for the mountains and move to Bozeman, Montana to work for the Montana Conservation Corps. For two seasons, he helped improve our nation’s public lands through fencing, invasive weed spraying, building and maintain trails, prairie dog dusting, seed collection, weatherizing low-income homes, and various volunteer opportunities in Bozeman. Patrick then decided to continue his education at Montana State University, Bozeman in the Science and Natural History Filmmaking graduate program. He is always looking to push the boundaries of documentary filmmaking, and bring science and natural history content to viewers in new and exciting ways.
    • Jason Roehrig

      Producer - Creative Content
      Jason Roehrig is an emerging filmmaker and photographer with a passion for natural wonders and science communication. He grew up in Illinois where he earned a degree in Biology from North Central College. After graduating, he worked as a field biologist mapping and protecting endangered habitats, wetlands, and water systems. He also held a position as a Biologist I in nematology at a major agricultural research firm. Today, Jason is enrolled in the MFA program Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University. He just finished a film on the snowmobile controversy in Yellowstone National Park, and is now in pre-production for a film exploring the marvels of bioluminescence.
      • RJ Sindelar

        Producer - Web Design
        Hugo received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Lafayette College, a PhD in Environmental Engineering Sciences from University of Florida, and is currently an MFA student in Science and Natural History Filmmaking at Montana State University. His PhD work focused on phosphorus removal with a specific interest in developing combined chemical and biological treatment systems to combat the phosphorus problem in the Florida Everglades. After graduating with his PhD, he decided to pursue a career in filmmaking in the hopes of better communicating scientific research to the public. When he is not making films, he enjoys exploring his new home in Bozeman, Montana through mountain biking, photography, and fly-fishing.
        • Marcus Hockett

          Producer - Partnerships
          Marcus Hockett is a small town, Montana native, who enjoys combining his outdoor passions with his filmmaking career. Marcus holds a degree in Fish and Wildlife Management and has worked with various governmental agencies and research projects throughout Montana. From these experiences, he has come to understand the diverse nature of wildlife management and research. Marcus focuses on creating educational films within these fields to increase interest and understanding of science and the natural world.
          • David Samollow

            Producer - Web Design
            David Samollow grew up in a science oriented family and became interested in film and global communication at an early age. In 2009, he completed a bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of North Texas. Shortly after receiving his degree, David became a founding member of Texas based production company Memories Films and branding/advertising company Square 205. Since then he has worked as producer, editor, assistant director, and director of photography on numerous commercial videos and short and feature length films. He is currently completing a masters degree in the Science and Natural History Filmmaking program at Montana State University. He firmly believes using film as a tool to communicate the wonders of science.
            • Colleen Harvey

              Colleen Harvey graduated from Purdue University’s Film and Video Studies and Natural Resources and Environmental Science program in 2015. She is currently a MFA student at Montana State University in the Science and Natural History Filmmaking program.  She is passionate about telling meaningful stories in a creative and quirky fashion. Her films focus on environmental concerns, specifically how humans relate to the natural world.
              • Jonathan Spear

                Producer - Web Design
                Jonathan Spear is in his second year of the MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking program at Montana State University. He enjoys hiking with his dog, Tucker, filming wildlife and making films about human/wildlife coexistence.  
                • Sarah Lanier

                  Producer
                  Sarah Lanier is currently a graduate student in the Science and Natural History Filmmaking MFA Program at Montana State University. Recent honors include charing a panel at the documentary theory conference, Visible Evidence XXIII, and being selected as one of 14 fellows for the Science Media Awards & Summit in the Hub. She is currently the Video Producer for TEDX Bozeman, as well as one of the head producers for Element Film Festival 2016 in Bozeman.  
                  • Anna Sagatov

                    Anna’s insatiable curiosity drives everything she does; whether it be making living art with slime molds, working as a dive master off the coast of Thailand, or exploring ice caves underneath glaciers in Alaska. A native of Vienna, Virginia, she grew up enrolled in way too many extracurriculars which might be the reason for her adventurous, busy nature. She graduated from College of the Atlantic, a small liberal arts school on Mt. Desert Island off the coast of Maine. Anna studied Human Ecology with a focus on the interconnections between art and science. She is currently enrolled in MSU’s MFA program in Science and Natural History Filmmaking. She enjoys exploring all kinds of artistic mediums from drawing and painting, to music and podcasting. Anna is an observer, collector, and connector, and strives to show people the beauty of this bewildering world in which we live.