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NANPA 2014 Board of Directors Candidate

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Clay Bolt

Clay Bolt

Clay Bolt Nature Photography
Easley, South Carolina
www.claybolt.com/

1) Give us a brief overview of your job, photographic, educational, volunteer, organizational board/committee skills, etc. I am a Natural History and Conservation Photographer specializing in macro and close-up photography of Southern Appalachian biodiversity, with an emphasis on invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians. My images and projects have been featured by organizations and publications such as The Nature Conservancy, National Geographic, Scientific American, Outdoor Photographer, Audubon Magazine, BBC Wildlife and many others. I am a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).

In 2009 I co-founded the international nature photography project "Meet Your Neighbours" (www.meetyourneighbours.net), which has grown to include dozens of photographers representing over 40 locations around the world. The mission at MYN is to reconnect people with the wildlife that lives within their own communities. In 2012, in partnership with The Highlands Biological Foundation, I co-founded Backyard Naturalists, whose mission is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world in children through science, art and technology. Regular BYN sessions are being held in Highlands, North Carolina as well as in Spain and Australia.

I am passionate about spreading the message that a connection to nature begins at home and am always seeking out new ways to promote this concept through my photography, writing, presentations and community involvement. For the past decade I have regularly partnered with organizations to develop imagery that can be used to support conservation. Arguably the proudest moment of my career to date came in 2008 when my images were successfully used by The Nature Conservancy to illustrate their campaign to protect The Nine Times Tract in the mountains of South Carolina, which has been called one of the most botanically rich sites in the southeastern United States.

In late 2013, I will be completing a three-year term serving on the Board of Directors of Discover Life in America (www.dlia.org). During my time on the board, I developed the ‘Marketing and PR Committee.’ Over the past 10 years, scientists who have participated in DLiA’s All Taxa Biota Inventory (ATBI) have discovered nearly 1,000 new species to science in Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone. The mission of our committee has been to share these discoveries with the public and develop materials that can be used for fund-raising and public awareness.

For a more extensive list of related accomplishments, please visit the ‘About Page’ on my website at www.claybolt.com

2) How long have you been an active member of NANPA? I have been a member of NANPA for approximately 4 years.

3) What Summits/Forums have you attended? I have attended the past two summits in Texas and Florida. I was a breakout speaker (2-hour presentation) at the 2013 Summit: http://www.naturephotographysummit.com/program/breakout-sessions/#clay. I also presented to the environmental committee meeting during the 2011 summit.

4) Have you served as a NANPA volunteer or worked on a committee? I am a member of the Environmental Committee although I say this with some hesitation as there hasn’t been much activity that I’ve been aware of during this time. However, I do post things to the Facebook page on occasion when I come across something that is relevant. I have also written two articles for Currents Magazine over the past year (Wide-Angle Macrophotography and Meet Your Neighbours).

5) What particular expertise and/or qualities would you bring to the NANPA Board? I believe that I have several skills and qualities that I can offer the NANPA Board. In addition to my photographic, videography and writing skills, I have over 15 years of experience working in advertising as an art director, graphic and web designer for major corporations and clients. I have extensive team and project management experience and my three years of service as a board member of Discover Life in America has given me a wealth of experiences that I can bring to the NANPA Board. These include developing a campaign, organization branding and outreach. When I first joined the DLiA board in late 2010, the organization was having financial difficulties but as a Board we were able to work through those trying times and arrive at a better place, financially speaking. While this is something that no Board would choose to go through, I learned a great deal during the process and will bring this experience with me as well.

6) NANPA is a young organization experiencing amazing growth. To help bring about a successful passage into maturity, every member of the Board is required to put in considerable time and effort. Will you be able to participate fully and actively? If you are self-employed, can you afford to take time away from your business? If you are an employee, or in some other way connected to an organization, will your job responsibilities allow you the freedom to attend to NANPA business? I will be able to participate and play an active role on the Board, going beyond simply attending meetings. I am not applying for Board membership as a badge of honor but as an opportunity to serve and hopefully provide value.

7) How would you use your abilities to further the NANPA mission: "to provide education, foster professionalism and ethical conduct, gather and disseminate information, and develop standards for all persons interested in the field of nature photography. NANPA further seeks to promote nature photography as an art form and a medium of communication for the sciences, nature appreciation, and environmental protection." Do not address the entire mission, but only those aspects that align with your own know-how, interests, and goals. The two things that I am most passionate about within the field of nature photography are: 1.) Helping others to discover the wildlife within their own communities so that they may develop and appreciation of these things and ultimately a desire to ensure their protection and 2.) Encouraging and guiding others into a career or active role in conservation and nature photography. If I’m given the privilege of participating on the NANPA Board I would like to use my time to develop or enhance existing programs to further this mission.

In addition, I would like to use my background in advertising to help develop programs that speak to young people and up-and-coming members of NANPA. While one organization can’t be all things to all people, I believe that NANPA as an organization is in a unique opportunity to empower budding photographers to make a difference in their communities through their work and community involvement.

8) How do you envision NANPA's role in the future of nature photography? How would you further that role? From what I have observed during the last two Summits, NANPA membership is comprised of two main groups: enthusiasts who have passion for making and sharing beautiful images and photographers who are driven to use their images to protect the natural world. I believe that this latter goal is more common among the younger generation of photographers and that in order to remain viable into the future, NANPA must continue to look for new ways to support this emerging group. I would like to use my experience in conservation photography and project development to augment the work that NANPA has begun in this area.

9) Why do you want to serve on the NANPA Board of Directors? If elected, what would you personally like to accomplish during your term on the NANPA Board? I want to be involved with the Board because I see the value of NANPA to the photographic community and want to ensure that it continues to play an important role well into the future.

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