Tag Archives: sustainable future

Photography of Joel Sartore - AZ Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

Life Through The Lens Of Wildlife Photographer Joel Sartore

It is summer in Antarctica. Frigid temperatures have been replaced by mild, 50-degree days.

Surrounded by green hills rolling into lush, snow-capped mountains and thick fog, Joel Sartore is crouching low to the ground. Usually, it is he who is chasing his subjects, but this time the tables have turned. Instead, in the middle of the beach-like terrain, Sartore is surrounded — by penguins. King penguins to be exact.

“Most of the time the animals I’m seeing are running away, they don’t want anything to do with me,” Sartore says, adding that the King penguins did the exact opposite. “They just wanted to stare at me. I got low on the ground and they stood right over me and looked at me. The whole thing was just tranquil, peaceful, and one of the most impressive things I’ve ever been a part of.”

Most of us will never get the chance to experience such an event. But for Sartore, it’s just another day on the job. From Antarctica to Russia, he has seen it all. Throughout his 20-year career working as a photographer for National Geographic, Sartore has traversed the globe, photographing everything from rare wildlife to hurricane aftermath and even state fairs.

“Once I discovered photography, there was never any turning back for me,” he says.

Sartore’s impressive body of work has been featured in Time, Life, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. He also has contributed to several book projects and has been the subject of national broadcasts.

In addition to his talents as a photographer, Sartore devotes his energy to conservation efforts. A Nebraska native, he is committed to conservation in the Great Plains, is co-founder of the Grassland Foundation, and a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Sartore will share his passion for sustainability as the speaker at Valley Forward’s 41st Annual Luncheon on Dec. 3.

“That is just an excellent group. There needs to be 100 groups like them. We have to start talking about this stuff and realizing that it’s easy to be green. It’s certainly a better way to live your life,” Sartore says. “There needs to be more and more people thinking and caring about the earth. We don’t have the luxury of time to count on the next generation to start saving the planet. We have to be doing it now.”

Sartore addresses the global environmental crisis using photography as his platform.

“I really am constantly faced with environmental problems,” says Sartore, a self-professed hyperactive person. “My job is to get people to think.”

While photographing the American Gulf Coast during one of his first assignments for National Geographic, Sartore was drawn to the plight of animals and the environment.

“I remember walking the beach and the bottom of my feet were black with spilled tar and oil, and there was garbage and a dead dolphin wrapped in plastic,” he says. “When you see things like that it makes you think that we could be doing a lot of things better, could be treating the Earth better.”

Sartore’s focus on building a sustainable future has allowed him to draw attention to issues that are often overlooked. His latest book, “Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species,” sheds light on some of the country’s most endangered species of plants and animals, and what the public can do to help. “Rare” was originally inspired by a magazine assignment, before turning into a personal project for Sartore and later a full-fledged book.

Several of the subjects featured in the book were shot in Arizona, including the California condor, photographed at the Phoenix Zoo; and the Tarahumara leopard frog, photographed at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

Although, sadly, one of the other animals featured in the book, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, became extinct during the book’s production, Sartore emphasizes the importance of highlighting environmental issues.

“It was a very good experience to give a voice for the voiceless,” Sartore says. “The encouraging thing is that most species in the book could make it if we pay attention to it. I guess that’s what I try to convey to people: There’s always hope. These things are absolutely worth saving.”

Sartore’s passion for photography began in high school and continued into college, where he earned a degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism from the University of Nebraska. Thanks to some great mentors, Sartore decided to pursue a career in photography, but he didn’t forget his journalism roots.

“In any of these situations I go into, I bring with me a reporter’s aesthetic and background to it,” he says.

This background has proven beneficial, as he shoots such a wide variety of subjects in exotic locations around the world.
“I want to know why things are the way they are and how to fix it,” he says.

As thrilling as his job may be, it comes with its share of dangers. When asked how many times has he almost been killed, Sartore responds on his website: “More than I care to tell my wife about for sure.”

He hasn’t let the danger stop him, but he does try to err on the side of caution.

“You can’t take more pictures if you’re dead,” he writes.

Sartore continues to journey around the globe in search of the next great photo. Currently, he’s preparing to travel to Africa for an assignment. Despite two decades of experience under his belt, Sartore still worries.

“I’m very nervous that I’ll fail, starve and die, in that order,” he says. Irrational fear or secret to success? Maybe worrying is just part of the job, Sartore adds.

“Everything has worked out well so far, yet I’ve always been very worried that nothing ever would,” he says. “With a strong story you may just reach those people who can change the world. If I can right a few wrongs, then that’s probably a life well spent.”

    If You Go:
    Valley Forward’s 41st Annual Luncheon
    11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
    Dec. 3
    Hyatt Regency Phoenix
    122 N. Second St., Phoenix
    Reservations: info@valleyforward.org; (602) 240-2408


    Arizona Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

    Earthfest Provides Free Resources to Teachers

    EarthFest Provides Free Resources To Teachers

    Teachers are desperately in need of assistance, especially during these tough economic times with budget cuts, fewer resources and larger class sizes. That’s why it’s important to get the word out about some exciting opportunities to assist educators, both personally and in the classroom.

    Arizona teachers can apply for one of two full-tuition scholarships being offered by University of Phoenix and/or $5,000 in funding for environmental programs in their school, classroom or community through an EarthFest Education Grant made possible by STMicroelectronics.

    Valley Forward Association has partnered with University of Phoenix to offer two full-tuition scholarships to Arizona K-12 teachers in an effort to expand its environmental education outreach. Each scholarship will allow a prospective student the opportunity to obtain a Master of Arts in Education (MAED) degree.

    The purpose of the scholarship program is to provide educational opportunities to local teachers who have demonstrated sustainable practices in their classroom and want to continue to make a difference in their community. The scholarship application deadline is Oct. 22 and recipients will be announced by Nov. 12. To obtain a copy of University of Phoenix’s Valley Forward Scholarship application, teachers can visit valleyforward.org or phoenix.edu/scholarships.

    In addition, Valley Forward recently announced $5,000 in grant funding for teachers in the 2010-11 school year to support projects that enhance awareness of and interest in environmental sustainability. It is the fourth consecutive year STMicroelectronics has funded this program.

    Projects should focus on such topics as: energy, water, air quality, transportation, land planning, plants and animals or waste management. The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 10. Applications may be mailed or emailed to info@valleyforward.org and projects must be completed by May 1, 2011.

    These and other opportunities were offered in conjunction with the sixth annual EarthFest Educators Night, presented in partnership with Intel Corporation and the Helios Education Foundation. To learn more about what resources are available, visit: Environmental Education Directory.

    Why does it matter? Because if we expose kids of all ages to ways they can contribute to a healthier environment, it helps ensure a more sustainable future for generations to come.

    Eco-Friendly Surfboards

    Green News Roundup – Eco-Friendly Surfboards, Electric FedEx Delivery Trucks & More

    This week’s Green News Roundup has a variety of news articles focusing on sustainability-related issues from eco-friendly surfboards to electric FedEx delivery trucks and more.

    As always, please feel free to send me any interesting stories that catch your eye to kasia@azbigmedia.com. Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on green topics throughout the Valley and state. Learning more about the issues that affect us all will help lead us to a sustainable future.

    Start-Ups Win With Plans to Displace Disposables
    NURU Energy, a company that makes rechargeable lights and portable power generators designed to displace kerosene fuel used in off-grid villages in developing nations, took the grand prize at last weekend’s business-plan competition hosted by the William James Foundation. The Richard Heinberg Award for Sustainability went to EGG-Energy and Kwai won the Regional Prize.

    Obama Bicycle Policy Wins Love From Cyclists, Scorn From Trucking Industry
    Last month, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that the government is going to start giving bicycling and walking the same priority as cars in transportation planning and when choosing projects for federal money. It’s a controversial policy of course, but potentially a huge step in the world of environmentalism.

    Green solutions as Earth Day turns 40
    Next Thursday is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and CNN’s Green Solutions in Focus series is looking at solutions at issues affecting the planet. For instance, Vermont dairy farmers are experimenting with methods to reduce bovine greenhouse gas emissions…by increasing Omega-3 fatty acid in cows’ diets so that they burp less and produce more milk.

    FedEx is geared up  for electric delivery trucks
    Next month, FedEx Corp. will be introducing four new trucks to its fleet. These trucks aren’t like their conventional delivery vehicles, though – they are all-electric. An interest in reducing reliance on fossil fuels isn’t new to the company, which began using a hybrid truck in 2004. The new electric trucks will roll out in Los Angeles.

    For eco-friendly surfboard shapers, more kelp in the lineup
    Though surfing is often seen as an almost spiritual-like release for its aficianados, surfboards are actually wreaking havoc on the environment. The materials used to make surfboards will take generations to biodegrade, so you’d think a new movement of entrepreneurs hoping to find a more eco-friendly solution would be a breath of fresh air for the industry, but you’d be wrong. Instead, those trying to find a formula for surfboards that will be better for the environment are feeling some opposition.

    Renewable Energy

    Arizona Awarded $9.5 Million For Energy Projects

    Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that over $354 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being awarded to 22 states to go toward energy efficiency and conservation activities.

    This money will be used to support state-level energy efficiency priorities as well as fund local conservation projects in smaller cities and counties.

    Arizona received approximately $9.5 million “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage development, promotion and application of advances building codes and green buildings statewide.”

    Eighty percent of the funds will be distributed to local cities and counties to implement their own energy efficiency programs.

    In order to receive funding, it is then up to the local governments to focus on projects demonstrating a high return on investment, leveraged funds, jobs created, interactions with community colleges and technical and trade schools and a shared community approach.

    The goal of the Recovery Act-funded projects will be to “..reduce energy usage and costs, increase the use of renewable energy applications within communities, and create jobs across the state.”

    So what does this mean for Arizona? Only time will tell but I’m looking forward to seeing the various programs and incentives. One thing’s for sure, this is great news for our state, our nation and our sustainable future.

    Read more about the announcement here.