NRES260 - Intro to Conservation Photography: A Sampling - Part 2

Racoon, red bellied woodpecker, squirrel
Racoon, red bellied woodpecker, squirrel

NRES 260 is a hands-on course that introduces students to photography in the field of conservation and natural resources.

Students will learn:
- the history and ethics of conservation photography
- photography tools and techniques
- how to build a conservation photography project
-post processing tools & techniques
- field techniques
-various communication methods

The goal is to walk away from this course with a well-developed photo essay, presentation, and written story that conveys a message in the field of natural resources or conservation. This includes finding, pitching, and executing a conservation photography essay from start to finish.

The Fall 2022 class was taught by Mariah Lundgren and Brooke Talbott with graduate teaching assistant Carlee Koehler. The Fall 2023 class will be taught by Mariah Lundgren, Carlee Koehler, and Dakota Altman. All are part of the Platte Basin Timelapse project.

Here are a few samples of the students’ projects. Follow the link after the introduction to see the full photo-essay:

Between the Leaves - by Kinga Aletto

In the beginning of the fall 2022 semester, I pulled into the parking lot on 1 st street to one of the many trailheads for the Wilderness Park in Lincoln. The road was dusty, unpaved, and a great, white dust cloud followed me as I pulled into the parking lot. The area was quiet, with only a small soybean field ran along the edge of the other side of the road, across from the lot, and odd building here and there. The lot was empty, except for me, with a weathered picnic bench and a single trail sign. I was surprised to see such a densely forested area so close to the city of Lincoln, since agricultural fields and grasslands seem for common around this area than this type of woodland that I have associated with woodlands further east. Once the dust settled, I hopped out of my car, excited to explore the trail.

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Window Wipeouts: A Cautionary Tale - by Grace Carey

On a warm and humid early August morning at 6:15a.m., I made my way to Memorial Stadium for flagline practice, as I did every morning. It was early in the semester, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus looked stunning as rays of sunlight began to permeate through the clouds during sunrise. Upon arriving I noticed a group of people on the team gathering around something on the ground at the top of the steps of the Memorial Stadium patio. As I made my way up the steps, I suddenly saw what the commotion was- a small songbird had flown into the massive windows covering memorial and had landed right next to where we practice. Compared to the huge doors and menacing windows above the bird looked so small and irrelevant. Finding birds that had struck the windows the previous day or overnight was not uncommon, due to the reflective nature of the windows, it is common for birds to see reflections of trees in them and attempt to land on a branch- only to be met with a gruesome fate. Over the course of the coming weeks, more and more window strike birds appeared on the steps and patio of Memorial Stadium. Often times, we would practice among these birds for over a week before a custodian was tasked with removing the birds and preserving the picture-perfect scene of Memorial before a gameday. However, as I began to take care of my surroundings, more and more unassuming birds littered the ground of campus buildings.

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A Shared Campus: Students and their Tree-climbing Neighbors - by Dylan Folda

There are 365 days in a year. And 365 days a year there are students going about their lives on UNL’s City Campus. Whether it’s for fall or spring classes, winter or summer session, athletes practicing year-round, or students just making impulse Starbucks runs to the Union, City Campus is always busy and very much alive.

These students may or may not know it, but the college years consist of creating some of the best memories in life mixed in with the most stressful moments. As we make our way to the end of fall semester, it is often easy to feel alone or overwhelmed when navigating through school. Especially when the seasons change, the sun starts to set at 4:30 PM, and the deadlines seem to be piling up without end. Walks around campus turn from t-shirts to winter coats in the blink of an eye, and we all can’t help but think how much life kind of sucks at the moment.

But while students trek to their next class across campus with their heads down, they miss an entire world right beneath their noses, another bunch struggling through their college years as well. Coming in at two feet long, six inches tall, and weighing a hefty one pound, Squirrels are the neighbors on campus that we often overlook.

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