MoveShake Video: What Motivates Gregg Treinish, Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation

Each Thursday in June we’ll be featuring a different film from the MoveShake series. This week’s film is about Gregg Treinish, founder of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. He is also a 2013 Emerging Explorer and 2008 Adventurer of the Year.

Ghandi said to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” But, how do we even begin?

That question is what sparked the film series MoveShake. It is an overwhelming thought to take on the challenges our world faces today. From our hometown to the other side of the planet, change often presents itself as an impossible and daunting task. So, what makes someone take that leap into making a difference? What can we learn from them?

As a documentary filmmaker, I also want to shift perspectives and make a difference. For me, MoveShake was a way to discover what it’s like for the people who have dedicated their lives to the change they believe is possible. I wanted to dig deeper than the “why” they do what they do, and discover how this pursuit has changed not only the world around them, but their lives.

It’s easy to look up to those who have dedicated themselves to a cause, and see them as a rare breed of heroes. But these heroes started out as your neighbors, your classmates, your children. MoveShake is about discovering the human side of the changemaker—understanding their personal struggles and sacrifices can teach us so much about how we can begin to tackle the change we’d like to see in the world around us. Understanding their experiences and relating to the challenges they have faced can empower us to take on the change we believe in.

The MoveShake film series released last year in at MountainFilm in Telluride. Now, one year later, the series has its fourth film featuring Gregg Treinish, founder of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.

Filming with Gregg Treinish was an adventure in itself. Gregg is the epitome of the social entrepreneur. He has a unique energy and passion that has been harnessed and he now focuses on one goal: to connect the adventure and science communities. That never-ending energy is put into everything he does—it can be inspiring and also exhausting to capture as a filmmaker.

Keeping up with Gregg was the biggest challenge of this film. Gregg let me tag along on a grizzly bear tracking trip with Military veterans in the Tobacco Roots of Montana as well as a pika monitoring trip with a group of 7th graders from West Oakland middle school to the Desolation Wilderness. These very different experiences gave a look into what drives Gregg, and also what challenges him.  By the time we shot the last scene on top of a peak in the Desolation Wilderness, we reflected how the experience of filming together had made us like brother and sister—a lot of harmless teasing, but also an immense amount of trust and respect. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and I am now completely inspired by Gregg’s determination and strong belief in what he does.

We can’t all be the Ghandis of our generation, let alone start our own nonprofits. Fortunately, becoming the change we wish to see in the world doesn’t necessarily require that. What is needed is simply a little something that Gregg seems to have in abundance—courage. Gregg’s story of determination and fortitude, despite financial and personal challenges, inspires us to be brave in our pursuit of making change, and lets us know we are not alone in doing so.

You can help Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation raise $30,000 to bring students on data collection expeditions. Here’s how.


  1. […] Read the Sierra Club press release here. See the Adventurers and Scientists own write-up here, which includes video. This documentary producer worked with National Geographic to tell the story. […]