Nova West


I am trans and I am an ocean explorer and wildlife filmmaker.//


I am an artist, filmmaker, photographer, and environmental educator originating from southern Minnesota. As a National Geographic Explorer, I am working towards creating a more diverse and holistic landscape for wildlife, expedition, and science storytelling. My work focuses on visual arts and camera operation, specializing in wildlife, expedition, and underwater documentary filmmaking. Throughout my career I’ve collaborated with organizations such as National Geographic, Discovery, Netflix, Pristine Seas, NOAA, Ocean Exploration Trust, and more. As a science communicator, I work to bridge the gaps between science and art, and am proud to continually grow my robust portfolio of creative projects across mediums. Complementing this work, I routinely sail as a Video Engineer and Expedition Documentarian aboard the E/V Nautilus, a deep-sea exploration vessel, operating deep-sea ROV camera and broadcast systems while documenting groundbreaking science and exploration operations. Recently, I released my first independent documentary, Diving for Rays, which is now available for global streaming on Waterbear Network, and I am now working on developing my first wildlife series centering queerness in nature via my National Geographic Explorer grant. In addition to television networks, my work has been featured in several podcasts, magazines, and articles, and I have been working to engage new audiences by guest speaking for panels, events, schools, and organizations. I am also highly involved in film festivals, serving as a participant, judge, and panelist, and as a long-time board member of the Jackson Wild Queer Collective and a founding co-chair of the National Geographic PRIDE Board, I’ve been working to create holistic spaces for queer creatives across the globe to meet, collaborate, and ultimately find community. Through my work I hope not only to achieve my goals, but to become another visible queer role model within the field of ocean storytelling, creating space for queer joy and other queer adventurers.