Photo by Michael Forsberg

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Summit Community!

We at Summit are thrilled to take this opportunity to celebrate the Earth and reflect on ways we can be more sustainable.

This is also a great opportunity to celebrate the incredible group of Summit Instructors who have dedicated their lives to conservation. We all know the power that visual media can have; and this awe-inspiring group uses images and storytelling to protect species and wild places. Explore their work below!

Katie is an award winning conservation filmmaker and founder of Coral & Oak Studios, a company dedicated to telling stories that educate and inspire audiences to engage with the creatures, people and world around them. A recipient of the Henry Luce Fellowship, Katie spent more than a year in Southeast Asia, where she collaborated with scientists and conservation organizations on various art and storytelling projects. Katie is a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and a recipient of the prestigious Koenig Trust Scholarship. Her clients include National Geographic, The Smithsonian Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Woods Hole Oceanographic, PBS and BBC. She is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).

Conservation photographer and author Dave Showalter is based in Colorado and focused on the American West. Dave has published two books – Sage Spirit, The American West at A Crossroads by Braided River (2015); and the award-winning Prairie Thunder by Skyline Press (2007). Dave’s photographs and articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Audubon, Conservation Biology, Outside, Outdoor Photographer, National Parks Magazine, High Country News, Wilderness, Colorado Life and elsewhere. Dave is faculty with the Summit Series of Photo Workshops, a Senior Fellow Photographer in the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), and works in partnership with numerous conservation groups, including Audubon Rockies, The Wilderness Society, and Sierra Club of Wyoming.

Melissa Groo is a wildlife photographer, writer, and conservationist with a passion for educating people about the marvels of the natural world. She believes that photography can be both fine art and a powerful vehicle for storytelling, and considers herself a “wildlife biographer” as much as a wildlife photographer. It is her mission to raise awareness and change minds about not only the extrinsic beauty of animals, but also their intrinsic worth. She is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).

Michael Forsberg is a Nebraska native whose 25-year career as a photographer and conservationist has been dedicated to wildlife and conservation stories in North America’s Great Plains, once one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth. His images have been featured in publications including Audubon, National Geographic, Nature Conservancy, and Outdoor Photographer magazines. His fine art prints are in public and private collections, and his solo exhibitions have traveled nationwide.  Mike serves as faculty with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and is a Fellow with the Center for Great Plains Studies and the Daugherty Water for Food Institute. He is also a Senior Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers, and represented by the National Geographic Image Collection.

Morgan is a Senior Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and a former board member of the North American Nature Photography Association. She has worked on two National Geographic granted projects, one on urban coyotes, and the other for the feature film Deer 139, following the migration of a single, pregnant mule deer across Wyoming. Her photos and writing appears in outlets, such as BBC Wildlife, Smithsonian, Nature Conservancy , World Wildlife Magazine, Newsweek and Playboy. Her film collaborations have appeared in Banff Mountain Film Festival, Adventure Film, Telluride and the International Wildlife Film Festival. In 2016, The Snow Guardian received second place recognition in the Film4Climate Competition in associate with COP22 and has since gone viral.

Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic Magazine and a contributing editor for its sister publication, TRAVELER Magazine.  Richardson has photographed more than fifty stories for National Geographic. He is a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).

Richardson’s work takes him around the world, from the tops of volcanic peaks to below the surface of  of the soil that provides our food, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and most places in between.  ABC News Nightline produced a story about the long process of assembling a National Geographic coverage by following Richardson in the field and at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C.

I’m a photographer and ecologist with a passion for telling stories at the junction of global environmental change and human culture. I believe that stories — whether in the form of film, photography, writing, or something else — have the power to persuade and motivate. That makes them crucial for protecting our wild places.

I’m a National Geographic Explorer, 2019 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, and a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers. I’m represented by Nature Picture Library. I have a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University, which I completed with the help of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Before that, I earned a BSc in Conservation and Resource Studies with an emphasis in Communicating Conservation in a Developing World from the College of Natural Resources at the University of California, Berkeley. I’ve traveled on three continents, including ten years traveling and working on wildlife and conservation projects in Africa.

Sebastian Kennerknecht is a wildlife and conservation photographer with over fourteen years of experience visually covering wildlife and environmental issues internationally, focusing in particular on wild cats. He has produced high quality editorial photographs, time-lapses, videos, and web content featured in and by the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC Wildlife, Smithsonian, The Economist, Science, and Conservation International, among others. Using highly customized SLR camera traps, along with conventional photographic techniques, he works closely with field biologists to both effectively and ethically capture photographs of some of the rarest cats on the planet while also highlighting the threats they face. Working for conservation organizations and on magazine assignments, Sebastian has photographed twenty-three of the forty species of wild felids, in twenty-nine different countries.

Esther Horvath is a Fellow at International League of Conservation Photographers, iLCP, member of The Photo Society and science photographer for Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. Esther received the 1st price in World Press Photo Award, Environmental single category in 2020.

Since 2015, Esther has dedicated her photography to the polar regions, especially to the Arctic Ocean, documenting scientific expeditions and behind the scene science stories. She follows the work of multiple science groups that are working to better understand the changing polar regions.

By documenting the work and life of scientists who deliver important data, Esther hopes to help make a difference in how people understand what actually is occurring, and in collaboration with scientists, help raise public awareness regarding these fragile environments.

Doug is a conservation, wildlife and animal welfare photojournalist, with a focus on Australian issues. He holds a Bachelor of Science with majors in zoology and microbiology, a Masters of Environment and a Masters of Bioethics. His work has been published by National Geographic, Audubon, BioGraphic, BBC Wildlife, Australian Geographic, and in papers such as the NY Times, The Australian and various NewsCorp mastheads.

His hope is that the images and information he shares will inspire people to stop, think, and treat the world a little more kindly.

Amy Gulick is an acclaimed nature photographer and writer. Her images and stories have been featured in: Outdoor Photographer, National Wildlife, Audubon, Sierra, and other publications.

Her work has received numerous honors including: the prestigious Daniel Housberg Wilderness Image Award from the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the Voice of the Wild Award from the Alaska Wilderness League, and a Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. She is also the recipient of a Philip Hyde Grant for her work in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, and a Mission Award, both presented by the North American Nature Photography Association.

Her book, Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest, is the winner of two Nautilus Book Awards and an Independent Publisher Book Award. Gulick is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers, a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and a member of the North American Nature Photography Association

Clay Bolt is a Natural History and Conservation Photographer specializing in the world’s smaller creatures who regularly partners with organizations such as the National Geographic Society and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. His current major focus is on North America’s native bees and the important roles that they play in our lives.

Clay was a leading voice in the fight to protect the rusty-patched bumble bee under the Endangered Species Act, which became North America’s first federally protected native bee in 2017. In 2019, he became the first photographer to document a living Wallace’s Giant Bee—the world’s largest bee—as a part of a four person exploration team to rediscover the species in the Indonesian islands of North Maluku.

In his current role as Communications Lead for World Wildlife Fund’s Northern Great Plains Program he is developing comms strategies to fight insect and grasslands biodiversity loss by gaining a greater understanding of the effects that Neonicotinoid pesticides have on wildlife. Clay is a Fellow in the Linnean Society of London, Associate Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), and past president of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). He serves on the board of CREA, an organization dedicated to conserving critical habitat in the Panamanian rainforest.

Mariah is a conservation storyteller, filmmaker and photographer. She is dedicated to telling stories within the Great Plains and the American West. She loves giving voice to the voiceless and telling stories that will help people better understand our natural world.

She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with a BS in Environmental Studies, and a minor Fisheries & Wildlife. She is the producer & project manager for the Platte Basin Timelapse project; a long-term documentary project using time-lapse and traditional photography and multimedia storytelling to educate about the Platte River Basin and what it means to live in a watershed today. This project has taught her the art and importance of storytelling and science communication. She is also a photographers assistant with Michael Forsberg who is Senior Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and is represented by National Geographic Creative.

Brooke McDonough is a Washington, D.C. based storyteller and a member of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) and Women Photojournalists of Washington (WPOW). She uses the meeting of text, photography, and video to share powerful conservation and natural history stories. Brooke is a recipient of National Geographic’s Second Assistant grant where she assisted National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager.

Brooke received her Masters degree in New Media Photojournalism at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of Arts and Design. She also works as the Development and Communications Manager at the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).

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