Student Speaker Series Educator Resources: Anand Varma

Anand Varma in the field with camera. Credit Vijay Varma.

Photo by Vijay Varma

Anand Varma practices “slow looking” behind the lens of his camera. He takes the time to stop and look carefully at nature, revealing the incredible details the naked eye can’t easily perceive. He’s documented the first few days of baby bees’ lives, built incredible custom setups to record the biomechanics of how hummingbirds fly, trekked through the Mexican rainforest to film a colony of bats roosting in a Mayan temple, and more.

These links have been compiled as a companion to the Vital Impacts Student Speaker Series Educator Resources here. Click here to download the full educator resources packet.

Visit Anand’s website to learn more about him and see some of his amazing photographs. 

Learn even more about Anand at Changemaker Talent

Anand’s newest book, National Geographic Invisible Wonders, showcases some of his spectacular photographs of objects we cannot see with the naked eye. Available September 26, 2023.

Articles and Books

Zimmer, Carl. “Mindsuckers.” National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Society, Nov. 2014, http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/mindsuckers. Accessed 13 Oct. 2023. 

Mann, Charles C. “Quest for a Superbee.” National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Society, May 2015, www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/breeding-honeybees-science-saving-pollinators Accessed 13 Oct. 2023. 

Borrell, Brendan. “Unlocking the Secrets behind the Hummingbird’s Frenzy.” National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Society, Jul 2017, www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/hummingbird-secrets-speed-worlds-smallest-birdAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.

Goldberg, Susan. “How to Capture a Hummingbird Mid-Flight.” National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Society, Jul. 2017, www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/editors-note-photography-technology-hummingbirds. Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

Films and Video

Varma, Anand. “Science Photographer: Anand Varma | Best Job Ever.” YouTube, uploaded by NatGeoKids, 13 Dec. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibZqyNwP8G0. Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.
Run time: ~2 minutes 

Varma, Anand. “Getting the Pictures | Mindsuckers.” YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic, 31 Oct. 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6tLbyjQGUs&t=3sAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.
Run time: ~3 minutes 

Jaacks, Jason. “In Search of Tzotz.” DCEFF, 2017, https://dceff.org/film/in-search-of-tzotzAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.
Run time: 9 minutes

Varma, Anand. “Capturing a Carnivorous Bat on Camera | National Geographic.” YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic, 2 July 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8QhY_0H99gAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.
Run time: ~3 minutes

Varma, Anand. “The First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life.” Anand Varma: The First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life | TED Talk, www.ted.com/talks/anand_varma_the_first_21_days_of_a_bee_s_lifeAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.
Run time: 6 minutes

Varma, Anand. “Photographing the Real Life of Bees | National Geographic.” YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic, 1 Feb. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSDZDY6cNDgAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.
Run time: ~4 minutes

Varma, Anand. “What It Takes to Film Hummingbirds in Slow Motion | National Geographic.” YouTube, uploaded by National Geographic, 28 July 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KOxZtLxdK4&t=38sAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.
Run time: ~2 minutes

Websites

“Pollinators: Pollinator populations across the United States are declining, and everyone can help.US Fish and Wildlife Services, www.fws.gov/initiative/pollinatorsAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Cornell Lab of Ornithology-Home.” Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 2023, www.birds.cornell.edu/home/Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Bat Conservation International / Ending Bat Extinctions Worldwide.” Bat Conservation International, 4 Oct. 2023, www.batcon.orgAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.

Home - Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants2023, www.exploringbytheseat.comAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.

Global Biodiversity Festival Year 4, Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, 30 Aug. 2023, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwKFsJZmdxpFfbyVWQ0_gCyWoXhGAqY3a.

Global Biodiversity Festival Year 3, Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, 24 July. 2022, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwKFsJZmdxpGryUYol9hbrpGZZmBhbO3G.

Global Biodiversity Festival Year 2, Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, 20 July. 2023, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwKFsJZmdxpEhK9d-PHhHQqQgdM-2Xay0.

Global Biodiversity Festival Year 1, Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, 24 July. 2022, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwKFsJZmdxpGLflfxa9I5lXsmBoDeRMD0.

Varma, Anand. “Anand Varma | Exploring the Hidden Wonders of Our World.” YouTube, uploaded by Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants, 28 May. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uodv5BAGOmoAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.

Medellin, Rodrigo. “Rodrigo Medellin | Why Bats Matter: The Goods and Benefits of Having Bats in Our Lives.” YouTube, uploaded by Exploring By The Seat of Your Pants, 26 May 2022, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAKyMa3doT0Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

Activities

“WonderLab Learning Resources.” National Geographic Education, National Geographic Society,  https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/wonderlab-learning-resourcesAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Old Time Portraits of Parasites.” Smithsonian Magazine, Smithsonian Institution, 25 July 2014, www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/old-time-portraits-parasites. Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Parasites.” Anand Varma Photography, www.varmaphoto.com/parasites?Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Night of the Living Detritus - Teacher Guide for Classroom Storyline Use.” Google Docshttps://docs.google.com/document/d/1H4W22chXa9Z6m2yWPYnlyKHXDobgToc3mNzx4mPD3bs/edit#heading=h.nj23sjpj5u97Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Tyto Online.” Tyto Online, www.tytoonline.comAccessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Flowers Seeking Pollinators.” California Academy of Sciences, www.calacademy.org/educators/lesson-plans/flowers-seeking-pollinators. Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

“Webinar: Spooky Collections and Spectacular Bat Adaptations!” Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, https://s.si.edu/45qJlub.  Accessed 13 Oct. 2023.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Interpreting Anand's photos. Download a pdf of Anand Varma's photographs to discuss using the questions found in the Vital Impacts Educator Resources for Anand Varma

Read and Discuss

Lee, Jane. "Catching Zombies in the Act: How to Picture Parasites." National Geographic, 31 Oct. 2014, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/article/catching-zombies-in-the-act-how-to-picture-parasites

 

Attended a talk? Let us know what you think

Did you recently attend a Vital Impacts Student Speaker Series event. Please also let us know what you and your students loved and what we can improve by filling out a brief (5-7 minute) survery here