Don Carter is a fine-art nature and wildlife photographer from Illinois. His hope is that his images cause the viewer to wonder about his or her relationship with nature and how the land needs to be shared and the environment protected. Since his retirement from teaching in 2013, Don takes photographs full-time. “My wife and I love to camp,” says Carter. “We are on the road with our springer spaniel several months a year.” Don’s website is www.doncarterphotography.com.
Do you have a “day” job? What do you do?
Prior to my retirement last year as a university professor at DeVry University, I had also worked at Keller Graduate School of Management and Columbia College. I taught computer information systems for most of my career, and when I became interested in design, I taught digital imaging and web design.
What NANPA committees have you served on and in what positions?
I’m on the College Scholarship Committee as the chair and the Regional Events Committee as the chair.
What was it about these committees that interested you?
I believe the College Scholarship Committee is one of the best committees that currently exist within NANPA. If you review the NANPA Scholars page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NANPAScholars), you will see the stunning work that the scholars have produced at the last two Summits. NANPA has provided them with the opportunity to network and be mentored by some of the best nature photographers in the industry. Most of the scholars are majoring in the sciences and use photography as a means of documenting their work. Others plan to work in the communications industry, including those who will be professional photographers or journalists. Working with these students keeps those of us on the committee inspired and this is why we continue to do what we do.
I’ve just started working with the Regional Events Committee, so my main challenge is learning what the committee has done in the past and plan more regional events for our members to enjoy.
What were the responsibilities you assumed?
As the chair of each committee, my responsibilities are working with the committee members to have successful events that meet the goals of the NANPA board.
What were your greatest accomplishments or the highlights thus far of what you have done for NANPA?
I don’t really have any great accomplishments, but the committees that I chair have done some great things. Planning the conservation project that each new group of college students will be undertaking takes the committee a great deal of time and effort. We review each application, judge portfolios and read each letter of recommendation that is submitted. As a group, we select those students who will be offered the opportunity to attend the Summit. For the 2015 San Diego Summit, the students will be working withthe San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge. It has multiple options for student projects, including its salt-pond and river restoration projects, its urban archeology background and documenting its wildlife.
How long have you been a NANPA member?
I’ve been a member of NANPA for seven years. San Diego will be my third summit.
Do you have a goal as it pertains to NANPA or the committees you are on?
I have two main goals: to continue to work with the students and provide them with the best experience possible, and to learn as much as I can about past regional events and plan successful new events.