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Summer is Pollinator Time – National Pollinator Week and the Great Georgia Pollinator Census

Summer is Pollinator Time – National Pollinator Week and the Great Georgia Pollinator Census

By: Jenny Burdette.

June 20 – 26 is National Pollinator Week 2022! Sponsored by Pollinator Partnership, Pollinator Week hopes to raise awareness of pollinators and encourage action to protect them. For some ideas on how to celebrate, check out https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week  Go to the Resources tab for suggestions on planting for pollinators, whether it’s a single plant or an entire pollinator garden. They also offer the opportunity to purchase a really cool t-shirt!!

In Georgia, the Great Pollinator Census through UGA is asking citizens to observe National Pollinator Week by learning more about ONE new pollinator. Maybe learn the name of a new butterfly (like the official name of that sort of light green butterfly with the big spot). Or learn about how the stinging insects that most of us have feared since an unfortunate encounter in childhood actually serve extremely useful roles as pollinators. You can download a butterfly identification guide from Georgia Wildlife by clicking https://georgiawildlife.com/sites/default/files/wrd/pdf/Georgia%20Butterflies%20Brochure.pdf The guide also contains useful information about planting to attract butterflies to your own yard.

monarch butterfly

Follow the Georgia Pollinator Census on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/georgiapollinatorcensus/ and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/gapollinators/

The Great Georgia Pollinator Census (ggapc.org) will take place on August 19 and 20, 2022. A Citizen Science project created by UGA, the project generates a snapshot of pollinator populations, educates gardeners about the importance of pollinators and other beneficial insects, and generates a baseline from which to measure the growth or decline of pollinator populations. Census data is used to identify areas that need more pollinator habitat, and researchers use the data in pollination economic valuation studies.

(Image by Jenny Burdette)

Project goals include increasing pollinator habitat across Georgia, improving entomological literacy through participation, and generating useful data on pollinator populations.

Stay tuned for more info on how GNPA will offer opportunities to participate in the Great Georgia Pollinator Census on August 19th and 20th. We hope to have several small groups in a variety of locations. Please contact Jenny Burdette if you are interested in leading a small group.

Example of a few pollinators: Birds, Butterflies and Bees. Images By: Jimmy Cash

June 15th is Nature Photography Day!

June 15th is Nature Photography Day!

By: Tammy Cash.  Image Credits: Left to right from the top – #1, #6, #10 Jamie Anderson. #3, #8, #9 Jimmy Cash. #2, #7 Tammy Cash. #4, #12 Jenny Burdette. #5 Cheryl Tarr. #11 Tom Wilson.

 

Photographers and nature lovers all across the nation head out into the natural world on June 15th each year, which is designated as Nature Photography Day!  The GNPA is excited to celebrate this special day and encourage all who can to enjoy the day by capturing nature related images! We hope you will share your photos with us by tagging #gnpa_pix in your posts.

Part of the on-going mission at GNPA is to share our appreciation of the natural world and spotlight the value of nature as a photography special interest. How is nature valued, you may ask? Did you know that nature photography is an extremely important and powerful tool? Photographic images captured of our natural world, including wildlife, plants, insects, landscapes, seascapes, and much more, not only portray the natural beauty of our great planet, the images can effect change and make a real difference! They can help make a difference by telling a story that promotes existing, or even triggers new, conservation efforts, such as:

  • Protecting a threatened, endangered or near extinct animal or plant species.
  • Taking action to improve a section of land, natural waterways, rivers, bays, ocean shores, and more.
  • Demonstrating changes to habitats and ecosystems that are favorable or damaging, for example:
    • New pollinator gardens on publicly owned land.
    • Protected wetlands and habitats for specific plant(s) and animal(s).
    • Improvements being made to habitats, such as those damaged by wildfires, floods, land clearing, etc.
    • Documentation through photos of rising water levels, polluted water resources, increased spreading of invasive plants in an area, and other detrimental changes to environments and natural habitats.
    • And much more!

Another powerful tool that nature photography provides is INSPIRATION! Images of our natural world can inspire a greater appreciation, awareness, and stewardship of our natural world. They can inspire others to enjoy nature and discover the many wonders our world has to offer. Additionally, they inspire people of all ages to learn more about nature and photography!

Ideas for observing Nature Photography Day:

Nature Photography Day encourages us to take a breather from our busy lives and spend time connecting with nature – appreciating all the beauty it has to offer. It can be powerful! Nature is all around us. Take part anywhere you are, grab your favorite camera equipment, or use your cell phone camera, and head out! Here are some ideas for celebrating Nature Photography Day, or to connect with nature on any day:

  • Capture nature related images – even in your own backyard.
  • View nature photography images made by others. Visit websites, social media pages, find a book with inspiring nature images and information.
  • Watch a documentary or videos on our natural world and/or nature photography
  • Take an online or in-person class on nature photography (wildlife, birds, insects, plants, landscapes, and more)
  • Learn more about nature photography opportunities in your area including the environment, animal and plant inhabitants and their habitats.
  • Visit a wildlife refuge; preserve; or national, state, local park
  • Tour a botanical garden
  • Go bird watching
  • Enjoy the sunrise and/or sunset
  • Explore public wetlands, a lake, creek, river, or seashore.
  • Go hiking on designated trails
  • Share with others the information about Nature Photography Day, nature photography and the powerful tools it provides.

Whether you are  beginner just learning nature photography, an enthusiast, hobbyist, professional, conservationist, or other type of photographer, it is the mission of GNPA to help nature photographers of all skill levels learn, grow and improve their photography, network with other outdoor photographers, and participate in exciting trips and events. We invite you to join GPNA and come “Shoot With Us!” Click here to learn more.

 How will you celebrate Nature Photography Day? Tag us in your social media posts of your captured nature related images #gnpa_pix.

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park

Join the GNPA’s Coastal Chapter for their June field trip at Phinizy Swamp Nature Park in Augusta, Georgia! Time permitting there will also be a visit to Audubon’s Silver Bluff Sanctuary and Brick Pond Park.

We hear the possibilities for bird photography in these areas are huge! Dr. Bill Lutin who lives in the area and is an avid bird photographer will be our guide.

“Our mission is to provide leadership for sustainable watersheds and economic vitality through research, education and by connecting people with nature. The vision of Phinizy Center is that every community will have a healthy environment that includes clean water and watersheds.” ~Phinizy Center for Water Sciences

To register and learn more click here or visit https://www.meetup.com/Georgia-Coastal-Chapter-Georgia-Nature-Photographers-Assn/events/285963937/ . Registered members will meet in the parking lot of Phinizy Swamp Nature Park at 7:30AM. The address is 1858 Lock and Dam Rd., Augusta, GA. Call 912-659-7064 if you are going to be late or can’t find us.

It is about a 25 minute drive from Phinizy Nature Center to Audubon’s Silver Bluff and another 25 minute drive from Audubon’s Silver Bluff to Brick Pond Park.

Bring your preferred lenses. Suggestions: A long lens for photographing wildlife, and a shorter lens or wide angle lens for landscapes or macro. Tripods will also be very helpful.

There will be no fees for Phinizy Center, Silver Bluff or Brick Pond Park.

There are restrooms at Phinizy Center Nature Park.

Bring water, snacks, comfortable walking shoes, rain gear for you and your camera, insect repellant and hat if needed. Check the weather forecast beforehand and dress for the weather and come prepared.

Group size: 15 max. GNPA Field Trips are for PAID GNPA MEMBERS ONLY.
Not paid up? Visit: https://gnpa.org/membership-join-us/ 

Call for Entries! 4th Annual Oatland Island Wildlife Center Competition in Savannah Georgia

Call for Entries! 4th Annual Oatland Island Wildlife Center Competition in Savannah Georgia

Oatland Island Wildlife Center will host a Photography Competition and Exhibit organized by the Coastal Chapter of Georgia Nature Photographer’s Association (GNPA) to help further the mission of the Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah to provide guests with memorable experiences to help them make stronger connections to the natural world.

In partnership with the Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah, Georgia, the Georgia Nature Photography Association – Coastal Chapter is organizing a 4th Annual Nature Photography Competition and Exhibit. The categories for this competition will be Coastal Landscapes, Coastal Wildlife, Macro, and ‘Found at Oatland Island Wildlife Center’. This Competition will be open to GNPA members only. In addition to 1st, 2nd, 3rd Place and Honorable Mention Ribbons, winners will be able to display their framed winning photos in a gallery at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Additionally, the Best in Show will receive a $150 Gift Card and all other 1st place winners will receive a $50 Gift Card for Hunt’s Photo and Video.

This exhibit will highlight nature and wildlife and therefore supplement Oatland Island’s mission to educate people about wildlife.  All images must be taken in the Southeast United States by the participant / photographer.

We are honored to have as this year’s judges… Lisa Langell and David Akoubian!

Lisa Langell

Scottsdale, Arizona

A nature photographer and birder from the age of eight, Lisa is the founder of Langell Photography,Inc.(http://www.langellphotography.com) and more recently, Focus Your Art,LLC (http://www.focusyourart.com). She began her own business in 2010 after long vibrant careers as a floral designer, educational psychologist, consultant and in helping launch and manage two startups that grew into leading companies in the Ed-Tech space. Since then, she has earned numerous awards and has been published in Outdoor Photographer, Arizona Highways, Ranger Rick, Images Arizona and more. She is a board of Directors member for the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), is an ambassador for Tamron, Fotopro and H&Y, and is a judge for Viewbug.

Lisa loves creating nature photography and art that inspired by her background in psychology and design. When Lisa isn’t having fun making photographs, she’s thriving on teaching photography. Her humility and passion for both shines through in how she provides memorable, fun and educational experiences that enrich, invigorate and expand photographers’ minds in wonderful ways.

David Akoubian

Jasper, Georgia

David has been a photographer since 1972 when his father presented him with his first camera, but his career in photography started in 1992. David learned his craft originally as a painter and from his father who shares his love of nature and photography. Early in his career he traveled with, learned from and taught beside some of the masters of nature photography including John Shaw, Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, Bryan Peterson, Pat O’Hara and Rod Planck. David has been teaching photography since 1994 in the classroom and leading workshops around the United States. David presents and leads workshops at many of the country’s top photographic conferences such as the Photographic Society of America Annual Conference, as well as many camera clubs across the United States.

David’s clients include, but are not limited to, Coca Cola, PNC Bank, Tamron, Sirui, the Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia, Lensbaby, The Nature Conservancy, Scholastic Books, and Gibbs Garden. His photographs and articles have appeared in publications such as Nature Photographer, Audubon Magazine, Blue Ridge Country, Birder’s World, Outdoor Photographer, Backpacker Magazine, and many local publications. His work has appeared in several feature books, calendars, as well as in instructional guides. David is a Tamron Image Master

To Download the Complete Rules for the Contest: CLICK HERE

To Download the Additional Framing Requirements for Winning Photos: CLICK HERE

To Enter the Contest, Log In to your Member Portal and Look for a Link to “4th Annual OIWC-GNPA Photo Contest”.

The contest Call for Entries will start June 1st, 2022

Deadline to Enter the Contest is July 14th at 10pm.

 

Your Photos Can Save Wildlife

Your Photos Can Save Wildlife

By Dr. Susan Perz, Photo by Jimmy Cash.

On October 6, 2021, the Conservation Committee of Georgia Nature Photographers Association presented its first statewide webinar about conservation by introducing the concept of Citizen Science with 6 speakers!  Featured guest speakers were Caroline Nickerson from Sci-Starter and Andrew Snyder, who is Co-Chair of NANPA’s Conservation Committee and a wildlife biologist with Re-Wild.  Several of the GNPA Conservation Committee members made presentations. Susan Perz coordinated the webinar, hosted by the Alpharetta Chapter with a brief introduction by Lee Friedman.  Susan spoke about endangered species, camera traps and time lapse photography.  Committee Chair Marcia Brandes shared Tammy Cash’s presentation on bird banding and the importance of reporting banded birds viewed in the wild. The presentation was illustrated with images captured by Tammy and Jimmy Cash, Jenny Burdette, and others.  Chris Dahl presented his photos from a hummingbird banding event.  Tom Wilson gave a presentation about amatuer astronomers and astrophotography, and the impact their images can have on Citizen Science. He shared some of the equipment he uses and how some of his images have been used by scientists/astronomers. Tom is a former GNPA Vice President and Chair of the Conservation Committee, and currently serves as the Communication Committee.  The event was well attended online, and recorded for future viewing! The GNPA Conservation committee is proud to announce this webinar is now available for public viewing at the link below, as well as a list of resources related to the webinar. 

 

A few resources from the webinar:

Carolyn Nicholson, a Senior Program Director with SciStarter.org recommends the following SciStarter.org conservation/nature related projects:

The Great Sunflower Projecthttps://scistarter.org/the-great-sunflower-project)

Susan Perz, Ph.D., Webinar Coordinator and Member of the Conservation Committee, presented 3 topics:  Endangered Species, Camera Trap Photography, and Time Lapse Photography.

Additional Related Resources: 

James Balog TED Talk about Nature Photography and his project Chasing Ice, which uses camera traps and time lapse photography. https://www.ted.com/talks/james_balog_time_lapse_proof_of_extreme_ice_loss?language=en

Georgia Endangered Species: To submit data on endangered species in GA:  https://georgiawildlife.com/conservation/species-of-concern

Florida Wildlife Commission produces annual reports on endangered species: https://myfwc.com/media/28338/2020-21endangeredspeciesreport.pdf

Camera Traps:  The Jaguar Identification Project https://www.jaguaridproject.com

Camera Traps in Florida, The FStop Foundationhttps://fstopfoundation.org. Their award-winning film about the Florida Wildlife Corridor is here: https://fstopfoundation.org/films-and-videos/

Chasing Ice https://chasingice.com

Sharing photos and videos with public schools for educational purposes. One of the videos that Susan Perz has shared with an elementary school is below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-gxw-JRMwk

 

 

 

 

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