Meet NANPA’s New Board Members

Photo of four new board members

By Frank Gallagher, NANPA Blog Coordinator

NANPA members have spoken, the votes have been tallied, and the results of the election for the NANPA Board of Directors have been certified. Say hello to your new board members.

Coby Cooper

Photo of Coby Cooper standing in a field holding camera gearCooper brings 40 years of experience in broadcast television and video production, as well as 30 years of photography knowledge to the board. A NANPA member for the past five years, he’s no stranger to board service, having served on the boards of state broadcasters associations, Operation Honor Guard, and others. He brings a wealth of experience in visual arts, digital communications, event planning and management, marketing and lobbying.

“I would like to see the national awareness of NANPA expand by a minimum of 20%,” he said. “I would like to see NANPA be the “go to” organization for comment and expertise on environmental issues as they apply to wildlife and nature.”

Hank Erdmann

Headshot of Hank ErdmanErdmann boasts a 40-year career in photography as well as being a wine consultant for a wine and spirits retailer. He’s run a photography workshop and tour company, Lake Effect Photographic Adventures, and was part owner of a fine art gallery. Erdmann joined NANPA the year it was founded and has led regional events, worked on committees, and helped judge contests.

“I couldn’t agree more with NANPA’s mission statement. I feel quite strongly about increasing opportunities in nature photography for any interested person and [promoting] photography as a way of experiencing the natural world, especially to those from backgrounds that don’t readily get such opportunities.” He’d like to see more recognition given to the many great photographers of the past who aren’t household names, like Ansel Adams or Edward Weston, but whose art was crucial in the development of our field. And he’d like to see more photos taken of the insects, plants, and other species that that are important parts of our ecosystems but don’t have the charismatic appeal of eagles, mountain lions, orcas, or the Grand Canyon.

J.P. Lawrence

Photo of JP Lawrence holding cameraLawrence is an academic specialist in the Lyman Briggs College at Michigan State University, where he teaches cellular and molecular biology. He believes that conducting science should include “a communication component, and using photography plays a key role in that,” he said. “I use photography to explain my own science and generate interest in it, hopefully inspiring future scientists—if not that, inspiring appreciation for the natural world.”

He’s been a NANPA member since 2015, when he was one of the NANPA Summit College Scholarship Program participants. He’s since gone on to help lead he college and high school programs and is involved with NANPA’s iNaturalist project. Lawrence is particularly interested in reaching out to underrepresented communities and younger potential nature photographers.

Amanda Joy Mason

 Headshot of Amanda Joy Mason holding cameraMason has been a professional photographer since 2005 and, in 2016, decided to focus her work on environmental and science communication. She earned a communications degree with a minor in sustainability studies at the University of Maryland and received a U.S. Department of State Gilman Scholarship. After working as a staff photographer in the Office of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, she accepted a position as primary staff photographer at the National Science Foundation, where she’ll also oversee brand development and graphic design for communications.

Like J.P. Lawrence, Mason was NANPA Summit College Scholarship Program participant (2017) and has been a NANPA member ever since. She helped lead the NANPA Meetup group in the Washington, DC, area and was going to be an instructor in NANPA’s High School Scholarship Program in 2020, before it was canceled. She is particularly interested in exploring the development of a mentoring program, matching young photographers with experienced NANPA members as well as finding innovative outreach programs to reach people of all backgrounds. She brings an eclectic background, diverse set of expertise , and the perspective of an early- to mid-career female photographer.