Because of his success with premiering Citizen McCaw at the Arlington years ago, Rod Lathim was asked by the West of the West team to handle the new documentary’s premiere, as well, but his role quickly grew into fundraising (including the more than $50,000 they earned on Kickstarter) and educational outreach. “The goal all along has been to get it in schools,” explained Lathim, who spearheaded Sunday’s free all-student showing. With the strong support of Santa Barbara County Education Office, Lathim also gathered a committee of educators from public and private schools as well as the National Park Service, Santa Cruz Island Foundation, and others who had experience with building educational material around the islands.

<strong>RE-CREATING HISTORY:</strong> Among other educational triumphs, West of the West is providing to schoolteachers the 3D scans of the four artifacts brought to the mainland by Juana Maria, the lone woman of San Nicolas Island.

The result? “They are going to take each of the 14 tales and create curriculum material to be taught in the classroom,” said Lathim, who is also soon to launch a completely free website for students and teachers to expand their island learning. Most exciting, he arranged to have all four of the artifacts that have been brought to the mainland by Juana Maria from her 18 years on San Nicolas Island (including one in New York) scanned by a 3D reader. Once they are uploaded, said Lathim, “If a teacher has a 3D printer, they can print them and students can physically hold it.”

Best of all, there’s no cost for the schools, and this information can be spread far and wide. “It can go as far as it wants to go,” said Lathim. “That’s the joy of technology today. Any school that wants it, we will be happy to give it to them.”


14,000 ¬ years that humans have inhabited the Channel Islands

3 ¬ hours of the finished West of the West

14 ¬ number of “tales,” from Tanya Atwater talking geology to the modern-day Chumash crossing the channel in a rebuilt tomol plank canoe

80 ¬ days of shooting, more than double the usual Hollywood film schedule

89 ¬ years before Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock that Juan Cabrillo found the Channel Islands

18 ¬ years that Juana Maria survived alone on San Nicolas Island

500+ ¬ shipwrecks found in the waters around the Channel Islands


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