She is one of the newest instructors at SUNY Oswego; turned down opportunity to teach in New Zealand to relocate to Oswego
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Students taking “Cinema and the Environment,” “Freshman Practicum for Cinema” or “Film Genre” at SUNY Oswego will get to know Tiffany Deater, one of the newer instructors at the school.
Deater is a Ph.D. candidate in environmental biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, and a recent graduate from Syracuse University, where she studied video art.
Teaching at Oswego is somewhat of a homecoming to Deater, who is from Utica. She taught in Kansas for a year and then had the option to teach in New Zealand or return to Central New York.
“Before I took this position at SUNY Oswego, I interviewed for a position in New Zealand, but I turned that down in hopes that Oswego would work out,” she said. “That’s how much I like Oswego.”
She began teaching at Oswego in fall of 2018.
Deater used to camp a lot in Fair Haven and enjoys the campus location on the lake.
“I really liked the community,” she said. “I liked the layout of the college. I like the local parks and the change of the seasons here. It felt like a good place to be.”
She works as an independent filmmaker/producer, creating wildlife documentaries and experimental videos. Her works have been screened internationally at various film festivals and art exhibitions.
Deater is working on obtaining a grant to produce her dissertation.
“It’s a documentary film exploring the history of wildlife filmmaking and how we see animals and wildlife through television, movies and film,” Deater said. “How does that influence the way we understand animal behavior?
“I’m hoping to give young people a better sense of what wildlife is really like,” she added. “A lot of people go to zoos and are bored or go to national parks and wonder where the animals are. I want to make movies to portray animals in a more realistic way.”
She hopes to complete the project in two years.
Deater said she enjoys the enthusiasm and energy of her students when discussing science fiction, technology, cell phone use and how people form lasting relationships with each other.
“We talk about things like why we’re always connected but feel alone,” Deater said.
As would be expected for someone making a nature documentary, Deater enjoys backpacking, camping and canoeing. She also likes spending time with her dog, a pug mix.