The Clock Always Wins

eastern redbud, redbud, blossom, bud, spring, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

I haven’t posted much lately, because as usual, I’m crazy busy. Between traveling, school, work, and trying to stay healthy (which includes things like getting the proper amount of sleep, eating right, daily exercise, and maintaining my sanity with healthy doses of nature), there seems to be little no time for anything else. But a lot has been going on, so I thought I’d take one half hour out of my busy as heck life to tell you about it. Here’s the news (in less than eloquent terms, because I don’t really have enough time to be critical of how I am writing at the moment):

1. I was featured this month on NatureScapes.Net. Sure I work for NatureScapes, but we’ve been showcasing our moderators in monthly features, and the crew decided it was my turn. So, that means I’ve got the monthly cover, an interview, and a few other features in April’s newsletter. I’m also going to be featured later this month on photographer Andrew Marsten’s blog The Unframed World and Antioch University New England’s website. I’ll be sure to post links to those profiles when they go up.

2. I’m heading back to St. Augustine, FL for Florida’s Birding and Photo Fest later this month. I’ll be behind the NatureScapes.Net booth in the exhibitor’s hall and also helping with some of the festival workshops. Immediately following Photo Fest, I’ll also be assisting Greg Downing with a technical workshop at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

3. A number of photographer friends have started Kickstarter projects within the past couple weeks. For those of you that don’t know, Kickstarter is a website for crowd-funding creative projects. My friends Neil Losin and Nathan Dappen of Day’s Edge Productions just started a campaign to create and publish a book about the Ibiza Wall Lizard, called The Symbol: Wall Lizards of the Pityusic Archipelago. The lizards were the subject of Nate’s doctoral research, and he has gotten some amazing photographs and footage of the lizards in his five years of working on the islands where they live. (Nate also just successfully defended his dissertation, way to go Dr. Dappen!) Check out their Kickstarter page to learn more about this super cool project.

Paul Marcellini is another talented photographer who just launched a Kickstarter campaign. Paul has been shooting for a project called Meet Your Neighbours which was started by Clay Bolt and Niall Benvie to raise awareness about nature in people’s own backyards. Paul is based in Florida and works heavily in the Everglades, and since joining on with Meet Your Neighbours, he produced some amazing photographs of Everglades wildlife on pure white backgrounds in the MYN style. He’s planning to launch an exhibit of his work in national parks throughout Florida and you can help by supporting his work via a simple donation through Kickstarter.

I’ve pledged to back both these projects with small contributions. The way Kickstarter works is that backers don’t pay unless the full amount of the project gets funded, so it’s important that others, like you, step in and show your support. Every little bit counts!

4. Speaking of Meet Your Neighbours, Clay Bolt, one of the founders, just stepped out with a brand new program called Backyard Naturalists, aimed directly at getting kids involved with nature. A pilot program just started in North Carolina last month, so stay tuned for updates from this cool and exciting new project.

5. Before heading to Florida later this month, I’ll be at the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH for a NANPA Road Show event with Jerry Monkman on April 14. Jerry is doing a one day workshop on Lightroom, and I’m helping with a few logistical things, like signing in attendees, so Jerry can really focus on running a great program. Registration closes April 9, and there are still spaces available, so photographers hoping to improve their post processing skills can still sign up.

6. Jerry has also invited me to be a contributor to his brand new website at MonkmanPhoto.com. For those of you who don’t know Jerry, let me precede my introduction of him by telling you he’s awesome. Jerry is a New Hampshire based outdoor photographer who has written a bunch of wonderful photography how to books and guide books, many specific to New England. He also offers workshops and is on the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) board. But the best thing about Jerry is that he’s really just genuinely a good guy – he likes to share his knowledge and help people learn, and he wholeheartedly cares about conservation issues and using his photography to help environmental causes. So I’m super psyched for this opportunity to work more with Jerry. Expect to see some posts from me on MonkmanPhoto in the near future.

7. That brings us to NANPA news. You might have caught that I volunteer with NANPA as a regional ambassador for the New England area as well as a committee member for the College Scholarship Program. Well, I caught up with some other committee members  last week, and we’ve started to plan our program for the 2013 summit in Jacksonville, Florida. We’re currently looking for a conservation issue to have our student participants focus on; last year our project “Reconnecting the Rio Grande” was used by the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and US Fish and Wildlife Service to help raise awareness and garner support for a wildlife corridor project that connects areas of habitat along the Rio Grande River that borders Mexico. So, if you are familiar with the Jacksonville, Florida area and know of any good environmental stories that need telling, please let me know.

8. And last, but certainly not least, I have to tell you about this awesome new program in Environmental Visual Communications at Fleming College in Ontario. The program, started by conservation photographer Neil Ever Osborne is geared towards college graduates and provides a post-grad certificate. It is one of a kind; there is no other program like this offered anywhere, and the course and instructor line up is stacked. I just spoke with Neil a bit about it on the phone today, and he informed me that they are still accepting applications for the program, slated to start next month. Check it out and send in an application if this is anything that interests you. If I wasn’t at the tail end of my Master’s degree (which overlaps with the start of the new program), I would probably sign up myself!

And with that, the half hour I committed to spend writing this blog post turned into an hour of my day, gone and lost forever to social media and world wide web. Hopefully you found it useful and all my writing has not been in vain. Catch you later, alligator!

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