Michael Hanrahan has been involved with documentary film production for twenty five years. He studied marine science and motion picture film at the University of Miami, combining his respect for the ocean with his desire to communicate the challenges it faced. Early in his career, Hanrahan worked as a lecturer and underwater camera operator for Jean-Michel Cousteau, traveling to every continent except Antarctica. Hanrahan collaborated with underwater and natural history documentary legend Mike deGruy in the production of a series of short films on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the biological impacts in the Gulf of Mexico for the National Science Foundation. With deGruy, Hanrahan developed the filming strategy for the Discovery Channel production Search for the Giant Squid, allowing capture of the first video footage of a giant squid.
Hanrahan is an instructor of media production for Blue Horizons, a summer environmental media program affiliated with the UCSB Carsey-Wolf Center. He is also the author of an environmental thriller titled The Last Extinction, an enhanced novel that tells the story of an ancient tablet uncovered in the heart of the Amazon.