By NANPA President Tom Haxby
Do you know a high school student who will be between the age of 14-19 and a rising sophomore, junior or senior during the dates of July 6-11, 2020, who might be interested in exploring nature through nature photography while having fun too? Perhaps this might be one of your children, grandchildren or even a non-relative.
Please consider encouraging eligible students to apply to the NANPA High School Photography Scholarship Program in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). Applications are available at http://nanpafoundation.org/high-school-scholarships/ and must be submitted online by January 31, 2020.
If you know an educator who might interact with interested students, please inform them of this program. You can download a flyer to share.
In July of each year, ten selected students based at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont work with professional nature photographers and environmental educators through classroom instruction and field trips to improve their photography skills while learning about biodiversity and the rich natural history of the Smokies.
Students may visit a mountain stream to learn about aquatic biology while taking macro photographs of aquatic species. Photo trips may also include the famous Cades Cove for wildlife and landscapes, or a trip to iconic Smoky Mountain overlooks. There may also be opportunities to try night photography.
Classroom instruction on photography techniques, photo editing, ethics in nature photography and learning how to tell a story using photographs will be part of the curriculum. By the end of the week, students are required to create a story using their photos about the Great Smoky Mountains ecosystem. These stories will be presented at a reception open to local NANPA members and others.
Students from the NANPA High School Scholarship Program may become future leaders in nature photography or may even become leaders of NANPA. In fact, many past alumni of the program have gone on to become successful professional photographers or have found careers in environmental science or related fields.
Student recipients are responsible for the $175 registration fee and their transportation to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont (located near Townsend, TN). One letter of recommendation and ten (10) photos are also required for the application process.
The High School Scholarship Program is made possible through the NANPA Foundation and the fStop Foundation with additional support from Hunt’s Camera and Video. The NANPA Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, is made possible by generous donations from people like you. If wish to donate you can do so here http://nanpafoundation.org/donations/.
As an instructor with the High School Scholarship Program the last two years, I have seen what a difference the program has made for the students. This is an incredible opportunity for students to see and experience what it means to be a nature photographer. And, these students are the future of nature photography.