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The Old Man and the Seaweed

the life of dr. ryan drum

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Dr. Ryan Drum and Dr. Glen Nagel


This 2015 inspiring documentary about herbalist and wildcrafter, botanist Dr. Ryan Drum. In this 47-minute independent film, director David Kaufman shows us the life and wisdom of Ryan in his words. Ryan has lived his life on his terms and this film gives us hope and insight as to how one can live a life of meaning, purpose, and stay true to one's self. Ryan is filmed at his home in the San Juan Islands.


Ryan Drum’s Biography: Ryan Drum, Ph.D. has a BSc in Chemical Technology and a Ph.D. in Botany (Phycology) from Iowa State University. While a NATO Scholar, he did postdoctoral studies on Cell Biology using the Electron Microscope and Microcine at the Universities of Bonn, Germany, and Leeds, England. For ten years he taught Botany and related subjects at Universities (UMASS/Amherst, UCLA, WWU).

He studied Herbal Medicine with Ella Birzneck, founder of Dominion Herbal College in British Columbia for 12 years, and taught at their summer seminars for 35 years. He has been an adjunct faculty at Bastyr University since 1984, and he lectures at major herbal conferences and herbal schools.

Dr. Drum is the author of over 30 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, the author of Electron Microscopy of Diatom Cells 1966, Springer Verlag, a 100-Plate Atlas, in print for 20 years, and a contributing author of two chapters in Planting the Future (Gladstar and Hirsch 2001) and a chapter in Fundamentals of Naturopathic Endocrinology, M. Friedman 2005.

The proud father of three beautiful children and two fantastic grandchildren, he lives in a rustic little hilltop cabin he built 30 years ago on a remote island, off the grid, without indoor plumbing or refrigeration. Ryan believes in true patient autonomy: the freedom and right to choose one's caregivers independent of their official certification.

Viewings of the film "Old Man and the Seaweed" Below

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