Tag: National Geographic photographer

Wildlife photographer spoke on ‘Saving the next Dodo’

Wildlife photographer spoke on ‘Saving the next Dodo’

Gabby Salazar, MN15, an acclaimed wildlife photographer, spoke on “Island Biodiversity: Saving the Next Dodo” at an Explorers Club Washington Group dinner at the Cosmos Club on Feb. 20, 2016

Jack Williams, ECWG chair, presents Gabby Salazar a certificate of appreciation after her talk. Photo by Darlene Shields
Jack Williams, ECWG chair, presents Gabby Salazar a certificate of appreciation after her talk. Photo by Darlene Shields

Tropical islands are home to some of the world’s most unique and endangered species, from giant tortoises to golden bamboo lemurs. Often restricted to a single island, these species are especially threatened by rising sea levels, invasive species, and habitat degradation. In fact, of the 724 animal extinctions recorded in the last 400 years, roughly half were island species.

The dodo, whose name is almost synonymous with extinction, was a flightless bird on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that became extinct in the late 18th century.

Salazar’s career

Salazar became a nature photographer at the age of 11, when her father gave her a camera. After being named the BBC Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the age of 14, she went on to become a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Photography, a National Geographic Young Explorer, a member of The Explorers Club, and a part of the Emerging League of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Last year at the age of 27, she also became the youngest ever President of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA).

National Geographic Explorers biography of Salazar

Last year Salazar traveled to Mauritius, to document the island’s remaining species and its world-renowned endangered species recovery programs. Just a few decades ago, the Mauritius Kestrel, the Rodrigues mandrinette flower and the Echo Parakeet had declined to a handful of individuals and seemed destined to go the way of the dodo. Remarkably, Mauritius has saved more critically endangered bird species from extinction than any other country in the world.

In her multimedia presentation, Salazar discussed the six months she spent documenting biodiversity conservation in Mauritius and other Indian Ocean islands. Her compelling imagery illustrated some of the world’s rarest animals and the ongoing challenges of saving island species.

Documented global conservation efforts

She has documented conservation efforts around the world, from the jungles of South America to the grasslands of Southeast Asia. With support from the National Geographic Society, Salazar spent 10 months in Southeastern Peru in 2010 documenting the creation of the Manu-Tambopata Conservation Corridor along a new, transcontinental highway.

Her work from this project has been displayed in a 30-image solo exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and at the Peruvian Embassy in the District of Columbia.

Her images have been exhibited in museums around the world, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the London Museum of Natural History, and the International Photography Hall of Fame.




Photographer’s ECWG dinner talk was on encounters with sharks

Photographer’s ECWG dinner talk was on encounters with sharks

Noted underwater photographer Nick Caloyianis talked about, “Close Encounters with the Supersharks: Great Whites, Basking Sharks and the Greenland Shark” at the Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 ECWG dinner at the Cosmos Club.

Nick Caloyianis

Over a span of 30 years, Caloyianis’ artistry has been honored with numerous awards, including an Oscar, Primetime Emmys and a NOGI in the Arts.

He has directed and produced films for National Geographic and Discovery Channels and has filmed for IMAX and Hollywood screens. He continues to collaborate with marine scientists, not only to record their work, but to help them make their groundbreaking discoveries.

He was the first to film the bizarre Greenland shark in Arctic waters. At the time (1995), not much was known about this polar creature.

Caloyianis is also an accomplished underwater photographer with his still pictures appearing in hundreds of national and international publications. He is photographer for the highly popular summer read, “The Shark Handbook”, by Greg Skomal.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland in 1973, and thereafter began his Post-graduate work with Eugenie Clark, the legendry ichthyologist who was a pioneer in scuba diving for research. She is often referred to as “The Shark Lady.”

In 1974 Caloyianis was awarded his first grant to study and film “sleeping” shark behavior with Clark off Isla Mujeres, Mexico. During his research there, he befriended a renowned filmmaker, Ramon Bravo, who taught him the finer aspects of filming marine life and wild pelagic sharks for documentaries and Hollywood.

These initial experiences would later inspire Caloyianis in his career as an extraordinary underwater filmmaker.

An avid conservationist, Caloyianis has used his visuals to help in lobbying for the protection of sharks, the creation of undersea parks (e.g. Ras Mohammed Park in the Red Sea), as well as sanctuaries (for nurse shark mating areas in the Dry Tortugas).

Additionally, his company has been instrumental in raising awareness and much needed funding for the highly successful Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative to help restore marine habitats  in denuded areas through placement of low-lying cleaned structures in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean waters.

More recently, his visuals have helped raise awareness for much needed Federal protection of vital natural reefs, located in our mid-Atlantic waters offshore.

Noted photographer James Blair spoke at May 17 dinner

Noted photographer James Blair spoke at May 17 dinner

James Blair, who was a National Geographic Magazine staff photographer from 1962  through 1994 spoke at the Explorers Club Washington Group dinner at the Cosmos Club on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

The National Geographic published more than 45 of his stories,  including major coverages of Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ethiopia, West Africa, Iran, Russia, and Greece, and various parts of the United States, as well as articles on agriculture, coal, astronomy, and uses of photography in science.

He covered southeast China for the book Journey Into China, published in 1982. He was the chief photographer for the National Geographic book on environment,As We Live and Breathe, and then continued his special interest in the environment with coverage of the disappearing rain forest, environmental pollution, and World Heritage sites.

In 1977, as a result of his coverage of South Africa, Blair was made a Poynter Fellow at Yale University. He also received the Overseas Press Club of America Award for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad for this coverage.

Blair has received numerous awards for other coverage from the National Press Photographers Association and the White House News Photographers Association.Since retiring from the National Geographic Society in 1994, Blair continues to photograph and teach.

News Briefs 1st Quarter 2011

News Briefs 1st Quarter 2011

Robert Hyman, LF ’93 has won won fifth prize in the CR+EW category in The World’s Rarest Birds photo competition for his photo of the critically endangered Honduran Emerald Hummingbird.

Robert Hyman's prize-winning photo

His photo was one selected as a winner from among 2000 entries, in The World’s Rarest Birds Photo Competition. The competition raises awareness of the rarest birds of the world and helps support their conservation through BirdLife International’s Preventing Extinctions Program.  Hyman’s photo has also been featured in The Mail, Telegraph and Metro newspapers in London, the French publication Natures et Animaux and on National Geographic’s web site. The World’s Rarest Birds book based on the competition will be published in 2012.

Elise Larsen, who received an ECWG Exploration and Field Research Grant  in 2010, reported on her work studying changes in the Mount St. Helens bird community following the catastrophic eruption of 1980 at the April 16, 2011 Cosmos Club dinner. She is a PhD  degree candidate at the University of Maryland, working in the Fagan Lab. Full story

ECWG member Frank R. Power MN ’93 discussed the colorful life of  Roy Chapman Andrews (1884 – 1960) during a brunch Sunday, March 6 at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Chevy Chase. Full story

Wade Davis, Hon ‘87, spoke on “The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World” at the  Jan. 15, 2011 ECWG Dinner at the Cosmos Club. Full story

Sarah K. Yeomans FN ’07 spoke on “Medicine in the Ancient World: What we have learned from archaeology” at The Explorers Club Washington Group dinner at the Cosmos Club on Saturday Feb. 12, 2011.  Full story

ECWG board members elected at the ECWG annual meeting and dinner on December 4, 2010 were: Louise Burke MN ’86, Norman Cherkis FN ’91, Frank Power MN ’93, John C. Williams FN ’03, and Arnella Trent MN ’10.

Emory Kristof speaking at the December dinner. Don Gerson photo

Emory Kristof FN ’87, a highly renowned National Geographic photographer who is a pioneer in submersible and remotely operated vehicles, spoke at the December 4, 2010 dinner. He recounted his adventures as the designer of the innovative camera system and participation in the Titanic discovery and other famous historic wrecks.  He regaled the audience with tales and spectacular photos of unknown underwater animals and the deep sea hydrothermal vents discovered on his expeditions.

Dr. Hans-Dieter Sues FN ’09, Senior Scientist and Curator in the Department of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, received the prestigious Humboldt Research Award for 2011-2012.  Given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to internationally renowned scientists and scholars, this award will provide support for him to concentrate on finishing research on his specialty of early Triassic dinosaurs.

Lew Toulmin MN ’04 and Robert Hyman LF ’93 were highlighted in a feature article in the September issue of Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine as co-founders of the Missing Aircraft Search Team (MAST).  The piece described the history of MAST beginning with the search for Steve Fossett MED ’92, and focusing on the recent underwater search for Gertrude Tompkins, the last missing WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) of WWII.  The piece described scientific and technological developments in the field science of search and rescue/recovery.

Lee Talbot in his red Ginnetta prepares to pass a Ford Escort to finish 2nd at Circuit Mont Tremblant, Quebec, on Sept. 25, 2010. Darlene Shields photo.

Explorers Club Medalist Dr. Lee Talbot MED ’57 received the 2010 Driver of the Year award from the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association, the premier organizer and sponsor of vintage racing.  Lee is the oldest driver in this category and has been professionally racing for 62 years.  This year he won 7 races and finished 2nd in two others.  The award is presented to the outstanding vintage racer who has achieved the goals of safety, consciousness, sportsmanship, and consistent performance.

Bob Atwater LF ’05 and Shellie Howard AN ’10 attended a week long survival course sponsored by BOSS (Boulder Outdoor Survival School) in Boulder, Utah.  This tough survival course taught creating friction fire with only sage wood, obtaining drinkable water from cow dung, sleeping through very cold nights without a tent or blankets, and many other related survival techniques.  Fortunately they both made it back and are still speaking to each other!