I did my PhD in the History of Consciousness at the University of California-Santa Cruz and have been a professor at numerous universities, including Dartmouth, the University of New Mexico (where I once held the Garrey Carruthers Chair of Honors) and the University of California-Santa Barbara, where I was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies and also the Regents Lecturer. I am what some might characterize as a "global ecologist".
My work encompasses ecological anthropology and aesthetics, the history of ideas, environmental psychology, global biodiversity field research, systematics, deep demography, animal rights and animal liberation, zoosemiotics and ethology, and the critical links between human demographic pressure and the genetic corridors and diverse, remaining habitats on Earth. I am the author of more than 50 books, non-fiction, fiction, and avant garde hybrids; with such titles as the recent Codex Orfeo, Hope On Earth: A Conversation (with Paul Ehrlich), Why Lire Matters: 50 Ecosystems of the Heart and Mind (with Jane Gray Morrison). Other works include the 600-page World War III -Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium," (with a Preface by Jane Goodall), "A Parliament of Science," my biography of Vermeer "Jan & Catharina," "A Vision of Nature -Traces of the Original World," "Chateau Beyond Time," [aka Bestiarium], "Rage & Reason," "Voices From the Underground -For the Love of Animals," "Nature's Keepers: On the Frontlines of the Fight To Save Wildlife In America," "A Day in the Life of India," "After Eden: History, Ecology & Conscience," "Life Force: The World of Jainism," the first U.S. publication of "Deep Ecology," and my nearly 1,900 page utopian fiction, the autobiographic work of ecological existentialism, "The Adventures of Mr. Marigold," now being turned into a Utopian opera.
I have also written, directed and/or produced nearly 150 films that have been released theatrically and/or broadcast around the world. These include such films as my ten-hour dramatic mini-series, "Voice of the Planet," (starring William Shatner and Faye Dunaway) for Turner Broadcasting -a biography of Earth; my ABC movie-of-the-week, "Countdown: The Sky's On Fire," (about ozone depletion), "Black Tide" for Discovery Channel (about oil spills and their biological fall-out), the feature documentary "America's Great Parks" for Discovery Channel, the feature film, "River of Love" (about the Indian vegetarian saint, Ama), my Alaskan mountaineering film "Cloudwalker" (hailed as the most dangerous film ever made), "Antarctica -The Last Continent," "A Day in the Life of Ireland," "Dubai -24 Hours," and films for nearly every network worldwide, primarily dealing -both dramatically, and in documentary form -with unique approaches to the most serious environmental and humanitarian issues of our time. My field-research has taken me to well over 80 countries -from Saudi Arabia to Australia; from Costa Rica to Kenya; from Chinese-occupied Tibet to Ecuador.
I am the President/CEO of the Dancing Star Foundation which works assiduously throughout the world in areas of biodiversity conservation, animal rights and environmental education. Most of my endeavors are in collaboration with my wife, the ecologist, author, filmmaker, former opera singer and philanthropist, Jane Gray Morrison; and with fantastic colleagues and teams of researchers in dozens of countries. A few links to my numerous efforts to help better fathom humanity's impact on the Earth, in an effort to save lives - human and other species - include: www.dancingstarfoundation.org; wapedia.mobi/en/Michael_Tobias; www.imdb.com/name/nm086488/ www.ZorbaPress.com. Zorba Press recently brought out our latest massive tome, the Dancing Star Foundation book, God's Country: The New Zealand Factor (by Jane Gray Morrison and me, Introduction by the President of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk) which can be downloaded for free! - a 600-page examination of the economics, biology and ethics of nations, with 850 color photographs and several thousand footnotes. A recent exhibition of my works from Zorba Press include "Professor Parrot and the Secret of the Blue Cupboard" (a modern-day Doctor Dolittle); my radical libretto -"The Misadventures of Pinocchio," my meditation on ornithology and love, "21st Century Solitude," a major collection of new essays, "Biotopia," and my sprawling epic rumination on the end and beginning of the world, "The Strange Life & Disappearance of English Milligrams." In addition, Zorba's re-release of my more than 30-year old PBS biography, "Kazantzakis."
See also our recent Dancing Star Foundation three-hour television series, "State of the Earth" (also viewable on 12 approximately 10-minute YouTube high-def videos); our re-release of my PBS film, "Ahimsa -NonViolence, the first major film to examine the ecological ethics of Jainism -shot in over 100 locations throughout India - and our public broadcasting trilogy of feature films, "Hotspots," (www.hotspots-thefilm.org, about rescuing endangered species from Easter Island to Peru, from Brazil and California to Madagascar), "No Vacancy" (treating of the human population explosion from Ghana and Nigeria, Iran and India to Indonesia; from China to Mexico to East Los Angeles), and "Mad Cowboy" - a devastating account of corporate agriculture, BSE (Mad Cow Disease) and animal welfare throughout the U.S. and Europe. Information about these are all on the Dancing Star Foundation website. Our recent coffee-table non-fiction study of protected habitat worldwide, "Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence," with a Foreword by Her Majesty the Fourth Queen of Bhutan, and nearly 900 color photographs, can be sampled at: www.sanctuary-thebook.org. This exhilarating homage examines heroic and critical conservation efforts in nearly two dozens regions of the world where we have done much of our research: from Central Park in New York and the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco, to the Mount St. Elias range in Alaska; from Suriname to Yemen (Socotra), Bahrain to the Emirates; from Bhutan to the Netherlands, Portugal and France; from Namibia, South Africa, India, Japan, Borneo, and Malaysia, to many other regions across the globe. For ten years I have helped nurture a scientific, ecological preserve in southern New Zealand, endeavoring to save rare, threatened and/or endangered species. In California we maintain large animal sanctuaries and in situ native California wildlands. Many of my works and hundreds of published essays can be found at the World Catalogue; on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, abe.com, etc.