Tobias is an ecologist, author, filmmaker, historian, explorer, anthropologist, educator and non-violence activist. His work encompasses ecological anthropology and aesthetics, the history of ideas, environmental psychology, comparative literature, philosophy and ethics, global biodiversity field research, systematics, deep demography, animal rights and animal liberation. In addition, he focuses on aspects of zoosemiotics and ethology, and the critical links between human demographic pressure (various population issues) and the genetic corridors and diverse, remaining habitats on Earth.
He has received The Courage of Conscience Award, the Parabola Focus Award, in addition to countless film awards, nominations, and accolades.
Tobias did his PhD in the History of Consciousness at the University of California-Santa Cruz focusing upon comparative literature, and the psychology, ethnography and history of ideas and aesthetic orientations pertaining to human views toward Nature. Tobias has lectured worldwide and has held teaching positions at several universities, including Dartmouth, the University of New Mexico (where he once held the Garrey Carruthers Chair of Honors), and the University of California-Santa Barbara (where he was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies, as well as a Regents Lecturer). Tobias is the author of over 45 published books -non-fiction, fiction, radical hybrids, plays, poetry, librettos - and the writer, director, producer and/or executive producer of well over 125 films, focusing primarily on ecological and humanitarian issues, both documentary and some drama and docu-drama, including the award-winning ten-hour dramatic miniseries, “Voice of the Planet”, starring William Shatner and Faye Dunaway, for Turner Broadcasting, and based upon Tobias' best-selling novel (Bantam Books, 1990) by the same title; and Tobias' hard-hitting 600 page book, and PBS documentary, “World War III: Population and the Biosphere at the End of the Millennium” (1994), the second, updated edition (1998) with a Foreword by Jane Goodall.
Tobias' field-research has taken him to well over 80 countries, and from regions like Antarctica, to many of the world's deserts, temperate zones, tropics and Boreal forests.
Tobias has been a mountaineer for many decades, having soloed hundreds of ascents, many of them "firsts" throughout the world. He has also specialized in alpine environments and mountain people, subjects of several of his books and essays, as well as one of his early films, "Cloudwalker."
Tobias's films have garnered numerous awards throughout the past thirty years and played at countless festivals, as well as being broadcast in most countries of the world. His books and films have been translated into numerous languages, including Italian, German, Hungarian, Turkish, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic.
Tobias is a frequent contributor to Forbes, as well as many other journals and publications. Many of Tobias' books and hundreds of published essays, reviews and interviews - as well as his thousands of published photographs - can be found at a myriad of websites, including:
For many years Tobias has been the President of the Dancing Star Foundation ("DSF") which works assiduously throughout the world in areas of biodiversity conservation, animal rights and environmental education. (www.dancingstarfoundation.org). Tobias' efforts - in collaboration with his wife, soul-mate, muse and professional partner/colleague, Ms. Jane Gray Morrison - include in situ and ex situ conservation, ecological restoration and animal protection at various refuges for wildlife and rescued animals in California and southern New Zealand (on Rakiura), and in many other regions of the world. Ms. Morrison is a global ecologist, author, filmmaker, and former opera singer. Together with colleagues and teams of researchers in dozens of countries, in addition to the United States, Tobias and Morrison have endeavored to better fathom humanity's impact on the Earth, in an effort to save lives - human and those of other species.
Some of their DSF environmental educational work has resulted in such books and films as their 2011 massive tome, “God's Country: The New Zealand Factor,” with a Foreword by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) founder Ingrid Newkirk. The book has no impediments to readership: it 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. See: https://dancingstarfoundation.box.net/shared/st72okcdfn
One of Tobias' and Morrison's latest documentaries is also downloadable for free, the three-hour “State of the Earth” available from Dancing Star Foundation,
Another Tobias/Morrison literary/ecological collaboration resulted in the DSF book, “Donkey: The Mystique of Equus Asinus.” See: http://www.dancingstarfoundation.org/donkey.php
Dancing Star Foundation also recently re-released Tobias' PBS special, which he wrote and directed back in the 1980s, the first major documentary on Jainism, “Ahimsa: NonViolence.”
Two other recent major projects Tobias and Morrison collaborated on as part of DSF's global environmental outreach efforts are their PBS feature film documentary “Hotspots” - filmed throughout the world, and Hosted by their colleague Dr. Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International. See: www.hotspots-thefilm.org. The film focused on methods for saving endangered species and was filmed throughout Madagascar, Brazil, Peru, Chile (Easter island), New Zealand, California and Washington D.C. Hotspots was the third in a trilogy of two-hour documentary specials for public broadcasting by Tobias and Morrison, the other two being “No Vacancy,” Hosted by world renowned population/family planning luminary, Bob Gillespie, and “Mad Cowboy,” Hosted by Howard Lyman, upon whose life story the film was based.
Tobias's and Morrison's mammoth book, “Sanctuary: Global Oases of Innocence,” with a Foreword by Her Majesty, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Queen of the Fourth King (Druk Gyalpo) of Bhutan, is a tribute to some of the many successful, indeed, heroic conservation efforts in twenty four regions throughout the world - from Suriname, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Yemen to Poland; from Alaska, California, New York, the Netherlands, France, and Portugal to the Indian sub-continent; from Namibia to the Eastern Himalayas; from Malaysia, Indonesian Borneo, Brunei, and Singapore to Japan, with nearly 900 color images, largely taken by Tobias and Morrison, and hundreds of pages of intimate text. See: www.sanctuary-thebook.org.
One of Tobias' latest novels, “Professor Parrot and the Secret of the Blue Cupboard” is a modern-day Doctor Dolittle, with 27 original works of art expressly created for the novel by artist Ms. Adonna Khare See:http://zorbapress.com/?page_id=193
In addition, Tobias's 25-year epic, the 1,836 page contemporary, Utopian saga, “The Adventures of Mr. Marigold,” first published in 2006 in New Zealand, with photographs by one of New Zealand's foremost photographers, Craig Potton - was re-released both in three hard-back editions as well as an ebook edition. Many consider it one of Tobias' most important literary works. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6897048-the-adventures-of-mr-marigold Some reviewers have called it not only the Best Book of the Year (2006) but the best book of the decade. http://www.squidoo.com/mostinterestingbooks
See also: www.bookloversreview.com/fiction/marigold2006.html
See: http://zorbapress.com/?page_id=184 for the ebook; and for the hardcover editions:
Other recent works by Tobias include his haunting and provocative “21st Century Solitude,” “The Secret Life & Disappearance of English Milligrams,” the libretto “The Misadventures of Pinocchio” (an animal rights modern day eco-political version of Pinocchio), and his play, “Central Park: A Conversation in Three Acts,” and Tobias' autobiographical collection of essays, “Biotopia,” (a sequel to his early 1990s autobiography in ten essays, published by Kent State University Press, “A Vision of Nature: Traces of the Original World.”) “Biotopia,” and the other aforementioned works are all available (or soon to be) at the Tobias Exhibition,