Micah Van der Ryn

Title: Health Communications and Media Researcher and Producer
Company: American Samoa Community College
Location: Inverness, California, United States

Micah Van der Ryn, health communications and media researcher and producer at the American Samoa Community College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in anthropology and filmmaking.

Since 1997, Dr. Van der Ryn has found a wealth of success serving at the American Samoa Community College in Malaeimi, American Samoa. He has operated in a variety of positions since joining the college, working as an ethnographic specialist, professional filmmaker, and a health communications and media researcher and producer. To wit, he specializes in education and filmmaking, with a focus in anthropology, health communication and cultural preservation. Well regarded for his creative output, Dr. van der Ryn has written and produced several notable works, including “Visual Anthropology and Intangible Cultural Heritage Preservation in American Samoa” in Journal de la Société des Océanistes in 2019, “Contemporary Change in Samoan Indigenous Village Architecture: Sociocultural Dynamics and Implications” in The Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture in 2018, and “WHICH WAY IS FRONT: Spatial Orientation Complications in Contemporary Samoan Villages” in Structure and Dynamics in 2016.

Prior to embarking on his professional path, Dr. Van der Ryn cultivated a formal education, beginning with his time at the University of California, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and environmental studies in 1985. After earning a master’s degree in visual anthropology, he subsequently achieved a PhD in social anthropology at the University of Auckland in 2008. As part of his academic endeavors, Dr. Van der Ryn received a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for research in Samoan architecture. Adjacent to his primary vocational duties, he also remains affiliated with several industry-related organizations, including The Society for Visual Anthropology, the Association of Social Anthropologist of Oceania, and the American Anthropological Association. Over the course of his career, Dr. Van der Ryn has been proud to study Samoan culture, history and architecture, and to leverage his skills in anthropology to help others. In the coming years, he hopes to continue his work at the college and create more films.

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