North American Nature Photography Association

Connecting The Nature Photography Community


NANPA 2014 Board of Directors Candidate

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Morgan Heim

Morgan Heim

Boulder, Colorado

1) Give us a brief overview of your job, photographic, educational, volunteer, organizational board/committee skills, etc.
I am a freelance multimedia journalist covering issues of science and the environment. I hold a master's in journalism, a certificate in environment, policy and society, and a bachelor's in zoology. I contract regularly with major magazines, online news outlets, non-profits and research organizations on a variety of projects that range from photo/text packages to video and multimedia production and workshops. I also work on the CAT in WATER project, a media expedition to document the endangered fishing cats of Thailand, which is helping with conservation efforts over there.

I belong to a number of organizations. For the past three years, I have been a trustee to the board of The WILD Foundation. I have voluntarily created a number of multimedia pieces for their flagship conservation campaign called Nature Needs Half, volunteered at numerous events and donated auction materials at fundraising events. In collaboration, I drafted new language for the organization's mission and vision statements. And am now leading a committee to establish active measures for implementing some of those vision goals. I also was a panelist for a talk at WILD's 9th World Wilderness Congress in Merida, Mexico.

I've been an active associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (first joined as an invited emerging league member in 2008). Through iLCP, I currently serve on the Fellows Advisory Council, acting as a liaison for other fellows and participating in discussions meant to help shape the face of the organization as it moves forward. I also served on the iLCP Strategic Planning Committee. I've participated in numerous Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVEs), exhibits, and volunteered as a photographer on the National Geographic BioBlitz 2012 partnership. I also presented at a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill.

I am a fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers, and met with the founders during several crucial establishing meetings at the birth of iLCW.

I am a member of the Society for Environmental Journalists, and the Journalism & Women Symposium. I am a GigaPan Fine Outreach for Science Fellow, and have presented at their annual workshop.

I have donated imagery to several non-profits that I've partnered with on various projects. As well as led free seminars on communicating science to organizations, such as to the Rocky Mountain Institute -- Amory Lovins's sustainable future research organization.

Throughout grad school, I also served as a teaching assistant for two journalism courses, including acting as the sole TA for all photojournalism courses at the University of Colorado under New York Times photojournalist Kevin Moloney. I regularly developed and led recitations, graded assignments, edited student photo projects and ran the photo lab.

Before my career in journalism, I worked for years as a fisheries research assistant for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. My work there included extensive field work on conservation issues around the Pacific Northwest, such as pre-dam removal studies on for the Elwha Dam. I also volunteered at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory and prior to employment at NWFSC, volunteered for entire summer as a research assistant on a killer whale project of Vancouver Island, B.C.

2) How long have you been an active member of NANPA?
Since 2008.

3) What Summits/Forums have you attended?
I'm getting ready to attend my third summit.

4) Have you served as a NANPA volunteer or worked on a committee?
I've participated on the environmental committee under Molly Steinwald, and was a reviewer for the Philipp Hyde Grant in 2010. I also presented on Nature Needs Half and how to develop a Nature Needs Half project at the last summit, and will be speaking on a panel at this summit.

5) 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 should be able to yes so long as it's not more than a few hours a week. There might be a few weeks here and there, where because I am literally out of email range, that I would be out of touch. Other than that, I have no problems devoting time to supporting NANPA business.

6) 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.

I think I am especially well-suited for fostering development of education and skills for communicating science. My background is useful for building strategies that implement photography as an aid for environmental protection. I have done this on my own blogging for the Nature Files -- a self-started science blog -- publishing numerous times on how to become a conservation photographer -- including writing a feature article on the subject in Outdoor Photographer Magazine -- and distributing the newsletter EcoLeads, which gives story tips to photographers looking for projects to pursue. Hundreds of photographers and editors subscribe to this newsletter. I think I am also well-suited to fostering ethics in nature photography. I have trained and practiced the highest levels of ethical conduct for photojournalism. I expected my students at CU to practice these as well, and I find discussions and understanding of ethical behavior imperative to the respect and continuation of nature photography and journalism as a profession.

7) Where do you want to see NANPA go in the next 5 years?

I want to see an age and socio-economically diverse organization that has made conservation synonymous with nature photography.

A way to get that sense of community from the summit into web form, a website that feels more interactive, hip and fresh.

Also, I want NANPA to really embrace the professional as well as the enthusiast side of photography. I think the professional side of photography is especially important to the youth who are engaging with photography. They are really pursuing innovative uses of photography in the sciences, communications and advocacy careers. This is valuable for making the NANPA summit a must attend event.

8) Why would you want to serve on the NANPA Board?

I would like to bring fresh engagement with the conservation photography community and editorial community to NANPA. I know that there's been a real push to incorporate more stewardship at NANPA, especially with the creation of the Environment Committee and with the last NANPA summit. I would like to support and expand on those efforts. I would also love the opportunity to support more youth involvement in NANPA.

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