Dana Romanoff

Dana Romanoff is an internationally acclaimed photojournalist and filmmaker dedicated to making a difference in the world. Whether she is sleeping on animal skins in Ethiopia, hunting with tribes in the jungles of West Papua, driving around with gang bangers in the U.S. or summiting 19,000 foot peaks with adaptive climbers, her work is intimate, layered and soulful and creates relationships and reveals inner lives. Her award-winning imagery, films and commercials foster understanding and create change.

She has received prestigious awards and recognition for tackling significant social issues including her recent film “Noah" which was featured on Upworthy, The Guardian, The Atlantic, RYOT and National Geographic Digital Showcase and won awards at the 2017 W3 Awards, Telly Awards and Communicator Awards and the 2017 Spirit of Activism Special Jury Award at the Crested Butte Film Festival. As co-Director and Director of Photography of National Park Experience, an independent film series celebrating diversity and youth in the National Parks, her documentaries have been broadcasted on PBS and Smithsonian Channel. “Confluence” a feature length doc released in 2018 is currently winning awards touring festivals and universities. Another short film, “Canyon Song” won the 2017 Director’s Choice Award at Flagstaff Mountain Festival, 2017 Award of Merit in the Best Shorts Competition and the 2017 Social Awareness Award at Wasatch Mountain Film Festival. Dana's work is syndicated with Getty Reportage and she is a Getty Global Assignments Photographer, Blue Earth Awarded Photographer and a Director working with Stept Studios and Blue Chalk Media. Her clients include National Geographic Magazine, New York Times, Esquire, Forbes, GQ, Men's Journal, National Geographic Traveler, The Sunday Times, USA Today, UNICEF, and many others.

In 2019, she directed a short film for Budweiser, “For The Fathers Who Stepped Up”, which has been viewed 3.3M times on the Budweiser YouTube channel only.

3 words to describe Nature?

Connected. Necessary. Healing

3 things Nature taught you?

Nature is one of the greatest teachers. 

I’ve learned that nature doesn’t need us, but we need nature. 

That all living things are connected. 

That we should cooperate, not compete with nature. 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

My family home on a tiny lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.  

An incredible waterfall pouring from the jungles of West Papua, Indonesia into the Indian ocean.

A blooming field of wildflowers surrounded by the Rocky Mountain FlatIrons  along the Mesa Trail in my backyard in Boulder, Colorado. 

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Humbled and inconsequential 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…? 

A sense of security 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…? 

I haven’t seen that many volcanos!

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…? 

Reflective and grateful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…?  

Energized and on alert 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…? 

Uneasy. Howling wind makes any situation more epic whether it be dodging shopping carts while walking through a parking lot or precariously balanced on a 14,000 ft ridge. 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?  

I would probably say Forrest. A person’s true nature emerges in the deep woods. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

A 10. On a high level, without a healthy earth and nature we are in big trouble. As an individual, my mental and physical health is very closely linked to my time spent in nature. 

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I remember my first backcountry camping experience near a lake in the Adirondack Mountains. I had heard the warnings about bears and was very aware of the food I was carrying in my backpack and needed to suspend in a bear bag from the towering pine trees. That night in my tent I was on high alert.  Every branch that snapped I was sure was a bear. Feeding my anxiety was a deep growl that repeated for many hours. When I could not take the fear any longer I screamed out and awoke my friends, more experienced backpackers, in the next tent over. They listened cautiously until they deducted that it was most definitely a bullfrog.

 

 


Wallace J Nichols

Dr. Wallace "J" Nichols - called a “Keeper of the Sea" by GQ Magazine, “a visionary" by Outside Magazine, a "water warrior" by AQUATICS International and a "friend of the sea" by Experience Life Magazine - is an innovative, silo-busting, entrepreneurial scientist, movement maker, renown marine biologist, voracious Earth and idea explorer, wild water advocate, bestselling author, sought after lecturer, and fun-loving Dad. He also likes turtles (a lot).

In 2010 Nichols delivered the commencement address at DePauw University where he also received an honorary doctorate in science. In 2011 he was inducted as a Fellow National member of the Explorers Club. In 2014 he received the University of Arizona's Global Achievement Award. And in 2017, he was presented by Fijian Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama the Champion of Change Award at the World Oceans Festival on Governor’s Island, New York.

Nichols has authored more than 200 scientific papers, technical reports, book chapters, and popular publications; lectured in more than 30 countries and nearly all 50 states; and appeared in hundreds of print, film, radio, and television media outlets including NPR, BBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, USA Today, Elle, Vogue, Fast Company, Surfer Magazine, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among many others.

His book Blue Mind, published in summer 2014 by Little, Brown & Company, quickly became a national bestseller and has been translated to numerous languages and inspired a wave of media and practical application.

J. is currently Chief Evangelist for Water (CEH2O) at Bouy Labs, a Senior Fellow at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies' Center for the Blue Economy, a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates, SEE the WILD, a conservation travel network, Grupo Tortuguero, an international sea turtle conservation network, and Blue Mind a global "movement of movements" sharing the new story of water.

He co-mentors a motivated group of international graduate students and serves as an advisor to numerous non-profit boards and committees as part of his commitment to building a more creative, stronger, more progressive, and connected environmental community.

J. lives with his partner Dana, two daughters and some cats, dogs, and chickens on California's Slow Coast, a rural stretch of coastal mountains overlooking the Monterey Bay where organic strawberries rule, mountain lions roam and their motto is "In Slow We Trust". The Nichols chose to settle down in this area after trekking the entire 1,800 kilometer coast from Oregon to Mexico.

3 words to describe Nature?

Primal. Creative. Home

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility

Solitude

Confidence 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

50 miles offshore and 50 feet deep from Bahia Magdalena, BCS Mexico

The source of Mill Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Greyhound Rock

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Optimistic

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Connected

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Hopeful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Warm

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Nostalgic

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Yes on all!

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

11

Share with us a childhood nature memory.

Backpacking to Deep Lake, in Wyoming, when I was 11 and feeling like I wanted to feel that way a lot more throughout my life. The origins of “blue mind” research, practice, philosophy and the growing global movement.

 

 


Nicole Stott

Nicole Stott has explored from the heights of outer space to the depths of our oceans. In awe of what she experienced from these very special vantage points, she has dedicated her life to sharing the beauty of space ~ and Earth ~ with others. She believes that sharing these orbital and inner space perspectives has the power to increase everyone’s appreciation of and obligation to care for our home planet and each other.

A veteran NASA Astronaut, her experience includes two spaceflights and 104 days living and working in space on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). She performed one spacewalk and was the first person to fly the robotic arm to capture the free flying HTV cargo vehicle. Nicole was the last crew member to fly to and from their ISS mission on a Space Shuttle. She was also a crew member of the final flight of the Space Shuttle Discovery, STS-133. 

Stott is the first person to paint a watercolor in space, which is now on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in DC.

As a NASA Aquanaut, in preparation for spaceflight and along with her NEEMO9 crew, Nicole lived and worked for 3 weeks on the Aquarius undersea habitat, the longest saturation mission to date.

Now retired from NASA, Nicole combines her artwork and spaceflight experience to inspire creative thinking about solutions to our planetary challenges, to raise awareness of the surprising interplay between science and art, and to promote the amazing work being done every day in space to improve life right here on Earth. She is the founder of the Space for Art Foundation and co-founder of Constellation.Earth.

She recently was featured in the National Geographic documentary series, hosted by Will Smith, about our planet called “One Strange Rock”, she is featured in the award-winning short film “Overview” by Planetary Collective, and she is a regular supporter of BBC radio and TV with a special focus on space exploration and our home planet.

3 words to describe Nature?

Peace. Life. Reflection

3 things Nature taught you?

Appreciation

Everything is connected

Respect 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

On a space station in awe of the view of Earth from space. 

Bari reef in Bonaire 

My backyard

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

At one with something much bigger than myself. 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Chilly and wanting to look up and appreciate the majesty of the trees surrounding me. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

A little bit of fear, total respect for the power and beauty and unpredictability, and like I should keep a very respectful distance. 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Relaxed and in awe and with an increased awareness of the fact that we live on a planet.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Like curling up on the couch with my dogs. 

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like a kid in Florida on the beach before a big rain.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

All of the above. If I had to pick it would be ocean (surrounded by mountains, forests and desert). 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10 

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

On the space station we are traveling at 17500 mph or 5 miles per second, so we orbit the Earth every 90 minutes, which means that every 45 minutes we are presented with a stunning sunrise or sunset out the window. I loved to watch the Earth during the 45 minutes of "night". The glinting lights below outlined where the people were in contrast to the deep darkness of the oceans that cover most of our planet. The ever-changing weather moved above it all. The lightening of a thunderstorm in Florida whipped its way around the planet, flashing light over it like neurons firing across a brain. It was like I was watching all the beautiful action below me with the mute button on. It reminded me of thunderstorms from my childhood when I was growing up in Florida, and how I had imagined that the thunderstorm was happening only over my town, and when it was gone, it was gone. It had never occurred to me that the storm was zooming around the world, like the nervous system of a planet that looked alive. From space, I saw that lightning never exists in one place. It’s constantly on the move. This revelation led me to understand the life-changing truth of the undeniable interconnectivity of everyone and everything on Earth and that whatever happens in one part of the planet affects the whole. The reality check that we live on a planet, we are all Earthlings, and the only border that matters is the thin blue line of atmosphere that protects us all.

 


Jan Van Ijken

Jan van IJken is an internationally known documentary photographer and filmmaker from the Netherlands. Self-taught and working mainly autonomously on long-term projects and microscopy, he is interested in human/animal relationships and nature. 

His most recent video BECOMING (2018) has been screened at more than 25 International Film Festivals and received the Award for Best Short Documentary at the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival 2018 and the Vision Science Award at Imagine Science Abu Dhabi 2019. The film went ‘viral’ on the internet, being awarded the Vimeo Staff Pick and watched by a few million people on National Geographic, Aeon, Colossal, Live Science, IFLScience and numerous others.

His ART OF FLYING (2015) movie was Awarded Best Art Film at Pärnu Film Festival, Estonia. It was screened more than 50 times at international film Festivals, Galleries, Biennales, etc.

FACING ANIMALS (2012) won the Grand Prix Short Films at Split Film Festival, Croatia

Jan has published 3 books: Precious Animals (2005), New Neighbours (2004) and A touch of Divinity (2001)

3 words to describe Nature?

The connection with all other life

Pristine beauty

A fragile ecosystem, not to be destroyed by humans

3 things Nature taught you?

To be silent 

That all life is one

To care for other creatures

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The North Sea and Waddenzee (NL)

Kagerplassen (NL)

Waterland (NL)

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Free

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Open

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Humble

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Joyful

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Alive

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like running

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Definitely Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Ice skating in our neighborhood on local waters


Ami Vitale

Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.

Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation.

Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

3 words to describe Nature?  

Healing. Connecting. Inspiring

3 things Nature taught you? 

To slow down 

To observe 

To marvel

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Montana 

Kenya

Planet Earth

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Humbled

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Like we are in an intricate web and deeply connected to one another

When you see any volcano, it makes you feel...? 

I have never seen one up close. But I imagine in awe

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Ephemeral

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Respectful

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Like snuggling up with a good book

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

All the above

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? It's off the charts important. 

10 is not enough

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Sneaking out at night to sleep on my dad's boat. I always loved being on the water from as early as I can remember. 


Becca Skinner

Becca Skinner was born into a family of adventurers and was raised in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and the high plains of Wyoming. This environment fueled a lifetime passion about wild places and exploring.

While studying Social Work and Technical Writing at the University of Wyoming, she won a National Geographic Young Explorer's Grant to document post-tsunami Sumatra, Indonesia.

That trip sparked a leave from school, which led to 32,000 miles of living out of a car, traveling and photographing around the West. She now resides in Bozeman, Montana, working as an adventure and conservation photographer and writer. Make sure to follow her in instagram

3 words to describe Nature? 

Calming. Grand. Curiosity

3 things Nature taught you? 

How to be more curious

To to be more self reliant

How to have a paradigm shift

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Tule Elk reservation

Paradise Valley, MT

Open Sage Country in WY

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Small

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Strong

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Motivated

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Relaxed

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Calm

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Grateful

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Mountain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Growing up, my parents would take us into the Wyoming desert for vacation. We spent days in open sagebrush country, just walking to look at whatever there was to look at. I remember once watching a herd of pronghorn run across the horizon line at dusk. The dust they were kicking up was pink with the fading sun, and I thought it had to be one of the most special moments of my life.


Michael Shainblaum

Michael Shainblum is a landscape, timelapse and aerial photographer based in San Francisco, California. He has been working professionally as a photographer and filmmaker for 11 years since the age of 16. Michael first made a name for himself through his unique creativity and the ability to capture scenes and moments in his distinct style of surreal, visual story telling. A dedication to challenging the boundaries of creativity, as well as a flair for coming up with unique ideas, has since resulted in this dynamic visual artist being commissioned by large clients including Nike, Samsung, Facebook, LG, Apple and Google. You will also be able to find Michael's work published widely by media outlets such as National Geographic, Wired Magazine and The Weather Channel.

3 words to describe Nature?

Majestic. Unpredictable. Therapeutic

3 things Nature taught you?

How to truly appreciate the world we live in and just how much we need to protect it.

It has given me a sense of purpose in my life to be honest, through my photography and my art.

It had also taught me to appreciate the little things in life and to drown out the daily struggles. Laying down for a nap in the Sand Dunes, or enjoying the reflection of a mountain in a lake, these moments have helped me through some tough times.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Just my most recent nature spot I have been too. Each place is special and I feel like my most recent trips are the ones I have fresh memories about capturing.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

At home, I grew up by the ocean and I do not think I could live far from it.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Adventurous, nothing like a good hike through the forest.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Conflicted, so much powerful, yet devastating beauty.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

I have been shooting sunrise for over a week now here during winter in Utah and it has been bone chillingly cold. Yet every time I wake up and get to witness that beautiful morning light, it is worth it. I suppose it makes me feel fulfilled.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited, I absolutely love capturing and witnessing lightning strikes.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like hopefully the timelapse camera I have set up is not going to blow over :P

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean just based on how I grew up, but I love capturing everything. The desert is my favorite at the moment, with all the incredible shapes, colors and textures.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10, I have dedicated my life now to capturing the beauty of nature and I would not have it any other way.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Funny enough I was never fully able to appreciate nature as a kid. I mean I went to the park and to the beach. But camping and hiking came a bit later on in my life during college. My family never had the ability to travel and the outdoors was never something that interested them. I found my appreciation of being outdoors through photography and I am so appreciative of that.


Jacques Andre Dupont

Considered by many to be an authority in marketing, sponsorship and the development of large-scale cultural projects, JACQUES-ANDRE DUPONT is the President of L’Équipe Spectra and 3 of the biggest Festivals in Montreal - the International Jazz Festival, the FrancoFolies, & Montréal en Lumière.

Dupont supports the musical development of the next generation of Québécois artists thanks, among other endeavours, to the creation of the Blues Camp for teens during the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, and staging a series of concerts presenting high school, cegep and university students. In 2017, following the publication of a report by the Conseil des Montréalaises (Montréal Women’s Council), he launched the Hirondelles, an all-female safety team dedicated to maintaining the security and well-being of festival fans and vulnerable people. He is also responsible for many projects addressing the sustainable development of the group, including making the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal carbon neutral, an international first at the time.

He is also a passionate photographer whose work focuses on wildlife and nature. His images have been featured in several major medias like Canadian Geographic, National Geographic, Africa Geographic, Wildlife Photographic, Outdoor Photography, Paris Match, the London Telegraph, China News, La Pravda, etc. His pictures have been selected/or won several photo competitions internationally and have been been exhibited in several countries around the world. With is photography he only wants to achieve one simple goal: bring the beauty of nature into light.

3 words to describe Nature?

Grand. Fragile. Us

3 things Nature taught you?

The more I connect with it, the happier I am.

Even the ugliest animals are beautiful.

It is the best smelling thing ever.

3 most treasured Nature spots?

My three favourite nature spots so far (because I want to see them all!) are

The Serengeti plains of Tanzania because it was love at first sight for me;

Yellowstone National Park, because this where I knew right away I would become a nature and wildlife photographer;

And my own backyard forest in Bolton West, Quebec, because I am the luckiest man in the world to have this in my own backyard every day.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Peaceful. Probably the infinity of it, with the suiting sound of the waves

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Curious! I want to explore it… Find an owl nest or a fox hole. And walk along a trustful moose (which happened to me this spring)

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Small and scared. Will my number come up today?

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

A sunrise? Alive, energized, happy to be up early in the day, and looking forward to what’s next. A sunset? happy, relaxed and looking forward to a glass of wine to celebrate the day that just ended so well.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Hoping for a spectacle: the drums, the light show… It’s better than Cirque du Soleil!

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Wanting to snuggle with my wife, as usually it is winter and -20 celsius outside, at our home that we named Domaine des Vents (Field of Winds), for it is really the windiest place.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I think I am an African plains person. That is why I love also so much the Serengeti AND Yellowstone (as it is called the Serengeti of America…).

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10, and then some! For the last 20 years I have been suffering from anxiety attacks on a regular basis… I guess that stress is my Achilles' heel… But since the last few years, nature photography has been the most amazing medicine for me…

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

It's the blue hour, just after the sunset. My dad took me fishing, north of Quebec city. And suddenly, for the first time ever, I hear the call of the loon. Wow! It sounds like a wolf. I am mesmerized by it. Since then, every time I hear a loon calling I go right back to that day, where I was so well, with my dad.


Roz Savage

Roz Savage is an ocean rower, speaker, author, sustainability advocate, and thought leader on the big existential questions of the 21st century. Her feats have been described by Sir Richard Branson as “Heroic, epic, inspiring, historic.” Best known as the first (and so far only) woman to row solo across the world’s “Big Three” oceans - the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian - Rosalind Savage inspires audiences to think again about what is possible, and encourages them to step up fully into the potential of their highest selves.

She has spoken to tens of thousands of people across six continents, including Google, eBay, Hershey, Disney, Kaiser Permanente, National Geographic, the Royal Geographical Society, TED and TEDx, plus numerous schools, universities and corporations.

Roz has appeared on numerous TV channels including CBS, ESPN, Fox News, Channel Four and the BBC, and has been a frequent guest on various radio stations including NPR, BBC (Radio Four, World Service), and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

She has been featured in a wide range of newspapers including the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Financial Times and the Evening Standard. Magazine features include Sports Illustrated, Grazia, Red, Outside Magazine and Fortune Magazine. She has written for numerous magazines and websites including Forbes and the Huffington Post, and contributed to over a dozen books on conservation, adventure, lifestyle and women

A documentary based on her Atlantic voyage, “Rowing the Atlantic”, was screened in 32 countries as a finalist in the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival.

She has authored two books: “Rowing The Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean” (Simon & Schuster, 2009) and "Stop Drifting, Start Rowing” (Hay House, 2013).

In 2010 Roz was named Adventurer of the Year by National Geographic. In 2012 she was a World Fellow at Yale. In 2013 she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to fundraising and the environment. In 2017 she took up a position at Yale, lecturing on Courage in Theory and Practice.

3 words to describe Nature?

Awe-inspiring. Nourishing. Vital

3 things Nature taught you?

Respect

Humility

Confidence

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Holy Isle, Scotland

Californian Redwoods

The beaches of southwestern Australia

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Sad, because they’re in such trouble

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Happy – I love being around trees

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

That the Earth is not as solid or as static as we like to pretend

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Joy

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Energised

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Mountain

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

11!

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

My mother, sister and I walked the Sandstone Trail when we were living in Cheshire. I especially remember a stretch of the path near Alderley Edge, where there was a row of craggy and scarred Scots Pines fringing the top of a hill. I just loved those trees. They looked like they had experienced so much in their lifetimes. Even now I get that sense when I’m around an old tree – I wonder what changes they have already seen, and what further changes they will see in the future.


Annie Griffiths

One of the first women photographers to work for National Geographic, ANNIE GRIFFITHS has photographed in nearly 150 countries during her illustrious career. She has worked on dozens of magazine and book projects for National Geographic, including stories on Lawrence of Arabia, Galilee, Petra, Sydney, New Zealand, and Jerusalem.

In addition to her magazine work, Griffiths is deeply committed to photographing for aid organizations around the world.  She is the Founder and Executive Director of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of photographers who document aid programs that are empowering women and girls in the developing world. In just five years, Ripple’s work has helped 24 non-profits raise over ten million dollars.

Griffiths has published 4 books, is an accomplished speaker and a regular guest on NPR, The Today Show and other media outlets.

Annie has received awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the National Organization of Women, and the White House News Photographers Association.

3 words to describe Nature? 

ESSENTIAL. COMFORTING. ENDURING

3 things Nature taught you? 

TO PAUSE

TO GASP

TO BE HUMBLE

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

MY CABIN IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN

MY LITTLE HOME ON A LAKE IN VIRGINIA

ANY NATIVE PRAIRIE

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…? 

SMALL, PEACEFUL

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…? 

SAFE

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…? 

HUMBLE

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…? 

GRATEFUL

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…? 

THAT ALL LIVING THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET A DRINK

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…? 

CAUTIOUS

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

I’M A LAKE PERSON

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

SO MANY. THE MIRACLE OF FIREFLIES, CATCHING TOADS AND FROGS, CREATING A FORT OUT OF AN OLD SNAG, CATCHING CRAYFISH WITH A PIECE OF CORN ON A STRING. MARVELING AT SPIDER WEBS.


Zach Rabinor

ZACH RABINOR was seduced early on by Mexico's vibrant cultures, towering peaks, thundering surf and intoxicating cuisine. As the Founder, President and CEO of award winning travel company Journey Mexico, Zach oversees all aspects of the company’s operation and takes special interest and delight in the details of product development, marketing, and business development. Under Zach’s leadership, Journey Mexico has achieved dynamic growth as evidenced by their inclusion as an Inc. 5000 Company consecutively from 2009 through 2016, and has earned top honors and recognition including: National Geographic's Best Tour Operators on Earth, National Geographic “50 Tours of a Lifetime”, Travel & Leisure Best Adventure Trips, Travel & Leisure Best Adventure Outfitters, and The New York Times Adventure Guide. Zach has been personally recognized as a top expert by leading luxury travel publications: Conde Nast Traveller Top Travel Specialist 2010-2017, Conde Nast Traveller Top Villa Specialist 2011-2013; and Travel & Leisure A-List 2010-2017 as well as being named a Trusted Travel Expert on Wendy Perrin’s inaugural Wow List 2014 and each year subsequently (2015-2017). Zach is a Regional Member of the World Travel and Tourism Council, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Oceanic Society; he has been sought out in the press on matters relating to Mexico, tourism, and travel including interviews in: Forbes and NPR and a host of other prominent publications.

When not designing new itineraries or leading exploratory expeditions, Zach can be found searching for waves and Mexico’s best ceviche on his beloved Pacific Coast. He lives in Puerto Vallarta with his wife Rebecca and their two sons Sam and Nat.

3 words to describe Nature?

Vast, Powerful, Awe-inspiring

3 things Nature taught you?

Humility, Self Reliance, Faith, Respect

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Ocean, Mountains, Rivers

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Alive, Small, Respectful, Hopeful, Dreamy, Spiritual, Complete

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Peaceful, Quiet, Ephemeral

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Alert, Curious, Wondrous, Ambitious

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Inspired, Peaceful, Contemplative, Romantic

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited, Suspenseful, Small

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Desolate, Watchful, Pensive

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

10+

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

The first time I surfed through a blizzard I was thrilled, humbled, elated, and terrified; I knew I would never live anywhere far from the sea.


Mario Cyr

MARIO CYR is an internationally renowned expedition leader for Arctic and Antarctic missions. He is a cold-water diving expert and a world-class cinematographer. Cyr has participated in more than 150 films for broadcasters such as National Geographic, DiscoveryChannel, the BBC, IMAX 3D, Disney Productions, CBC and David Suzuki, la Société Cousteau, France 2, Arte and NHK Japan. In 2011, he won the Palme d’Or at the Festival d’Antibes for Walrus:Toothed Titans. His contribution to Oceans, directed by Jacques Perrin, helped the film win a César for Best Documentary. In 2013, his Ice Bear 3D got an Emmy nomination.

Originally from the Magdalen Islands, located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Mario has become one of the very few specialists of cold water diving, capturing spectacular and unique scenes from marine life in the Arctic and Antarctic poles. In 1991, he pioneered filming wild walrus packs and polar bears at a very close range. His expertise and knowledge has enabled him to film authentic and never-before-seen underwater images of swimming polar bears and a female walrus nursing her young.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Imposing. Splendid. Fragile

3 things Nature taught you? 

Patience. Listening. Time arranges many things

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

The beach Old Harry Magdalen Island

Queen Charlotte Island

Tuvalu Island, South Pacific

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…? 

I feel infinitely small.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel…? 

I keep repeating myself that all trees are alive.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel…? 

That we are tiny in front of such a power.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel…? 

That I am lucky to see such beauty.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel…? 

For some reason, I always think of past empires and the fear they instilled through their powerful conquests.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel…? 

I return to my childhood when I hid under the patio afraid of the high winds.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Ocean

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory 

My summer on a splendid beach Bluff on the Magdalen Island.


Dave Freeman

DAVE FREEMAN have traveled over 30,000 miles by kayak, canoe and dogsled through some of the world’s wildest places, from the Amazon to the Arctic. National Geographic named him and his wife, Amy Freeman, Adventurers of the Year in 2014. Their images, videos, and articles have been published by a wide range of media, from CBC, NBC, and FOX to the Chicago Tribune, National Geographic, Outside, Backpacker, Canoe and Kayak, and Minnesota Public Radio. When Dave and Amy aren’t on expeditions or speaking tours, they guide canoe, kayak and dogsled trips near their home on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota. Check their educational company - Wilderness Classroom.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Calming, dynamic, grand

3 things Nature taught you? 

Confidence, humility, happiness

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Lake Superior

Amazon Rainforest

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Small

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

Alive

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Young

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Calm

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

Alert

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?  

It depends on the situation anywhere from excited to terrified.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Ocean and Forest, but lakes and rivers more than anything.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

10

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

I remember by first canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness when I was 12. I remember listening to loons calling on calm evenings and catching small mouth bass. It felt like we were in the middle of a vast Wilderness even though we had just scratched the surface.


Katie Losey

A lifelong wildlife enthusiast, KATIE LOSEY loves to explore the world’s most far-flung corners and hopes to inspire others to live out their wildest adventures through her words and images. At the heart of what guides most of her decisions is learning from the natural world, a strong thread throughout her life. Out of college, she began working at nonprofit Puppies Behind Bars, and too many times found herself reading National Geographic articles about the plight of African and Asian elephants. A year later, she was at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand. Her experiences connecting with these brilliant creatures continues to shape her world.

After returning to NYC from Southeast Asia, Katie found a home at an experiential travel company that plans private, custom journeys. Her trips have put her beneath orangutang swinging across Borneo’s canopy, gliding alongside sharks in Cuba, dancing on a 10,000 year-old glacier in British Columbia, and tracking gorillas in Uganda. Katie’s passion to link travel with conservation spearheaded Absolute Awareness, which connects travelers with the world’s wild places, creatures, and traditions to help champion and protect them.

In 2015 she became a member of The Explorers Club, whose mission is to advance field research, scientific exploration, resource conservation, and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. In 2017 she co-chaired the 113th Explorers Club Annual Dinner, helping conceptualize and execute the longest standing philanthropic event in NYC history and a gathering of > 1200 world-class explorers in New York City.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Genius, wise, interconnected

3 things Nature taught you? 

Be patient

Seek symbiotic relationships

Find your own rhythm.

3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Malaysian Borneo Rainforest

Underwater world

The stream behind my house growing up in NY suburbs.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

Calm

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

At ease

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

Inspired

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

Calm.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Excited!

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Serene

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

Forest

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 

8

Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

Everyday after school I would go down to the stream behind my house and hang over a log that had fallen across the stream and watch the minnows, crayfish, and would just be so happy. I would bring my friends down there and I would know every rock, every fish hiding spot, the sunny spots, the bugs ones...loved it down there!


Robert Clark

ROBERT CLARK is a freelance photographer based in New York City, working with the world's leading magazines, publishers and cutting edge advertising campaigns, as well as the author of four monographs: EvolutionA Visual Record, Feathers Displays of Brilliant Plumage, First Down Houston A Year with the Houston Texans and Image America - the first photography book shot solely with a cellphone camera. During his twenty-year association with National Geographic, Clark has photographed more than 40 stories. His cover article "Was Darwin Wrong?" helped National Geographic garner a National Magazine award in 2005. Early in his career, Clark documented the lives of high school football players for the book Friday Night Lights. In 2003, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston brought Clark back to Texas to capture the first year of the new NFL team, the Houston Texans. Clark recently directed the short film "8 Seconds" as part of an advertorial campaign for Russell Athletic. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter, and is the owner of Ten Ton Studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. He can be followed on Instagram.

3 things Nature taught you?

Patience

The awesome power of geological evolution

How fragile it all is when we ignore it

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Joshua Tree

The Kluane National Park, Canada

The Andes, above the Sacred Valley

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Full of possibilities

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

I find forests spooky.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

I repelled into Vesuvio for a National Geographic story and it made me feel the power of Nature at awe of the amount of force that was released in the blasts from the volcano.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

I think about good light for photography, and either way it is a new beginning.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Reminds me of my childhood in Western Kansas.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Running in Western Kansas, it is always windy in my home town.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

l love the desert.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

Increasingly more important after living in Brooklyn for so long.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

My home was on the Monarch butterfly migration route, I remember going to a creek in a park and sitting down and having the butterflies cover me from head to toe.


Kedyn Sierra

KEDYN SIERRA is W.I.L.D.'s 1st scholarship recipient. He is an Adventure & Commercial Photographer and Filmmaker, a proud brand ambassador for Guayaki Yerba Mate and sponsored photographer for SOG Knives, Kokatat, Klean Kanteen, Confluence among others. His work has been featured by DPR Construction, NOLS, Voltaic Systems, The Leader, National Geographic Student Expeditions, Environmental Traveling Companions, Klean Kanteen, Sierra Designs, and The Wild Image Project.

3 things Nature taught you?

Humbleness, responsibility, self-worth

3 most treasured Nature spots?

I met a weasel by a small creek in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, I feel absolutely upset that I can’t pinpoint it.

The second spot is Raymond Lake on the PCT Trail. I’ve never felt utter pain and exhaustion from a hike so for that it takes second.

The last place that comes to mind is Avalas Beach, a small patch where people can kayak into while on Tomales Bay. Avalas shows you the meeting point of the bay and the great pacific ocean.

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

I feel calmness from the tranquility of the water. I realize I am simply a piece to a greater magnificent piece of life.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

The forests make me feel immersed.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

When I saw a Volcano (sleeping volcano) I felt on top of the world. 360 view of the landscape definitely feels phenomenal.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

I feel short on time. The minute the sun sets, the day has ended or begun depending on what's happening. Sunrises make me appreciate everything because I rarely get to see those.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Thunder makes me feel refreshed.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

When the wind howls it focuses me.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

A Forest person - conditions tend to be unfavorable in the Forest though it’s the only place you can truly feel the way everything is connected to one another.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

I would put a 10 to Nature for my well-being. Without it, I can’t seem to understand anything.

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

My family was born into a minimalist lifestyle in the middle of the Yucatan peninsula. I was raised around animals, cows, turkeys, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs amongst others. It wasn’t in a farm environment but rather heavy forest. The memory of the endless roaming with the imagination of a bliss kid was absolutely phenomenal and short lived.