The Corps of Discovery Research Partnership

A case study in new media singularity for sustainability

Detroit Public Television has partnered with the University of Idaho to form the Corps of Discovery research project, a joint venture in education and broadcasting designed to promote the central idea of worldwide sustainability. Using the broadcast reach of America’s largest public media enterprise (PBS) combined with academic support and educational engagement from two of the nation’s leading universities, (University of Idaho and Washington State University) The Corps of Discovery endeavors to harness fast-evolving technological mediums in order to create a uniquely bipartisan dialogue on sustainability, environment and energy in the US and worldwide.

In the words of project partner Professor Greg Möller, the Corps of Discovery approach is “a case study in new media singularity for sustainability—crossing institutional domains—where unbiased digital data and resources are rapidly researched and reviewed, supporting a broadcast outreach for national and international public engagement.”
The Corps of Discovery project aims to circumvent the political stalemate of bipartisan posturing by creating a media nexus of informative, entertaining and socially responsible stories addressing global sustainability. Such engagement is critical as our thought leaders and policymakers, and we as individuals, more forward in sustainability. It is not a static or one-way message: the goal is that of ongoing conversation and education regardless of age, creed, social status or political leaning. Simply by living on this planet you are necessarily involved in the discussion—that’s why the Corps of Discovery seeks to bring us all a little closer together.

More about the Global Open Course Principles of Sustainability:
Professor Möller’s course Principles of Sustainability is a global online open course that uses multiple modes of new media to inform and inspire students. Ranked number one on Google search for the disciplinary important term “principles of sustainability,” you can check the course out online here.

Normalized for upper division and graduate students of any discipline or major background, Professor Möller has produced cinematic HD-surround sound “doculectures” in each of the fifty learning areas, in his experimental pedagogy. A doculecture is a PowerPoint-free presentation, formalized in content, and supported with media such as subject descriptive film, photographs, animations, music, and text. His new approach couples the information intensity of a university lecture with the audiovisual warmth and dynamics of a documentary film. Professor Möller’s course leverages our understanding of the cognitive neuroscience of learning and memory using dynamic imagery, sounds, and virtual spacial effects. Over 100 filmmakers and scholars across the globe, and numerous students, contributed to his course. Available on computers, smartphones, video game consoles, streaming media players, and IPTV (internet protocol TV), the Creative Commons 3.0 licensed materials produced by Professor Möller are loaded almost 2000 times per week in 80+ countries.

More about WTVS Detroit Public Television:
PBS is the largest public media endeavor in the United States and has garnered a reputation of editorial excellence and social responsibility. It is uniquely independent of corporate aims or political partisanship, and as such it has a responsibility to provide content that is balanced, relevant and unequivocally unbiased.

Viewer-supported PBS member station Detroit Public Television (WTVS) serves the nation's 11th largest television market, and is carried on cable and satellite systems throughout Southeast Michigan and over a thousand communities in Canada. In 2011 they released Beyond the Light Switch, a documentary on the future of electricity and energy in the United States. The documentary won critical praise and the Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton Award for documentary filmmaking in 2012. This is just one piece in an ongoing puzzle of DPTV’s journalistic mission to confront hard-hitting issues of energy, sustainability and environmentalism in the modern world. For more information, please visit

More about the Corps of Discovery:
Dr. Greg Möller of the University of Idaho is a professor in the School of Food Science and Environmental Science Program and he is uniquely positioned to advance the discussion of a sustainable world. His award-winning “doculectures” on the Principles of Sustainability have already proven that the topic can be entertaining, informative and cutting-edge. Most importantly, he has access to the thought and input of his students, the most important resource in creating a world of smart, ambitious and socially responsible industry leaders. If society is to change its present course it will be by the hands and minds of our future generations.