Merri Lisa Trigilio

Merri Lisa Trigilio is the director, producer and editor of Written On Water, a documentary about groundwater depletion in the High Plains. Merri Lisa first documented the world around her with a camera at an early age. She pursued an art degree in photography and film, eventually ending up in Hollywood as a production assistant, story editor and research coordinator for Zoetrope Studios. Several years later, she pursued a passion for science and completed a doctorate degree in Geosciences from Penn State University. Dr. Trigilio’s research has focused on rivers, specifically the fluvial and tectonic geomorphology of the American Southwest, West Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, Spain and Ireland. Her experience ranges from working as a geophysicist for multinational oil companies to lead geologist for the Energy Research Institute at Montana State University where she was modeling carbon sequestration.  After many years working in the energy sector, she found her way back to documentary storytelling. In 2012, she was a fellow at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC where she wrote and produced documentaries that focused on Science and American History. Prior to her work at the Smithsonian, she completed films that focused on topics that range from AIDS awareness in a South African township to a personal story of a shuffleboard champion in a rural Texas town. Written On Water is her feature directorial debut.