Does nature photography help save the environment. I want to think so, and I also happen to think so. As the Sierra Club discovered many years ago, an image of a wild, beautiful place can raise awareness of threats to the environment and be a powerful motivator for preserving fragile places. Images can also be used for scientific studies of endangered eco-systems and as evidence to influence policy makers. Only recently photographer James Balog presented his images of melting glaciers--part of his Extreme Ice Survey--to members of Congress.
Balog is one of the founding members of the International League of Conservation Photographers, a group of landscape and wildlife photographers who have redefined their work, merging the ideas of art and activism. In November the ILCP is sponsoring a symposium during the 9th World Wilderness Conference, which will take place in Merida, Yucatan (Mexico). Cristina Mittermeier, the executive director of the ILCP, wants to make sure that photographers around the world are aware of the event--if you would like to attend, you get more information at the ILCP website, including how to register. Even if you can't attend, you might want to look for news coming out of the symposium, which will feature panels on journalism, effective communications, and scientific ideas. If my schedule permits, I will certainly be there.--David Schonauer