Combine your photos and Citizen’s Science, and there’s no limit to what you can achieve!
October 6, 2021 at 7:30 pm, don’t miss a fantastic GNPA WEBINAR, featuring guest speakers from NANPA and Sci Starter.
A nature photographer’s unique skillset is ideal for contributing to science AND saving wildlife. A panel of 6 presenters is ready to tell us how, including four GNPA Conservation Committee members.
We’ll hear tips about
- time lapse photography
- camera traps
- bird banding
- hummingbird banding
- night photography
And these are Citizen Science projects that YOU can be involved in NOW.
To sweeten the deal, NANPA speaker Andrew Snyder will discuss how NANPA’s Conservation Committee is making a difference with Citizen’s Science. He’ll also share NANPA conservation resources, helping you begin your journey toward making a difference with YOUR images.
Don’t miss this night packed with practical applications, exciting information and a variety of engaging speakers.
To join in the fun, REGISTER HERE.
For more information about Citizen’s Science, check out Dr. Susan Perz’s recent blog post HERE.
We’ll see everyone on October 6th!
[Featured Image: Chris Dahl; September, 2019; hummingbird banding.]
Surprise! You are a Citizen Scientist!
By Dr. Susan Perz
Most of us photograph nature because we love the natural world and being in nature. We’re great at observing patiently, setting up camera equipment and sometimes waiting for hours. Yet we don’t always think of ourselves as scientists—or as citizens participating in science.
Julia from Birdwatcher Supply runs the Hummingbird Banding event at Smith Gilbert Gardens. (photo credit: Chris Dahl, Sept. 2019)
Have you ever taken a photo of a banded bird or animal and wondered what the band means or why it’s there? Have you wondered if pollinators or songbirds are decreasing in your yard? Or if the creek in your yard is getting wider from erosion? Have you ever wondered if your photographs can make a difference?
They can! And increasingly, ordinary people like you and I are contributing to science by sending photos to websites that help scientists learn more about our natural world! Citizen Science sounds difficult, but we participate in science every day in ways that we don’t realize.
Every photo communicates an observation and educates in some way about a landscape or wildlife, but there are easy ways that we as nature photographers can uniquely help educate and even save the natural places and wildlife we love.
Banded Birds and Animals… Did you know that if you take a photo of a banded bird or animal, you can send it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—and they will send you a Certificate of Appreciation? The certificate also tells you what information about the animal or bird they were able to obtain from the band. That’s pretty cool, and fascinating! If you have photos you would like to send, CLICK HERE for the link.
Paul Eisenbrown took these photos of a snail kite in Florida in May 2021. The bird has several bands on its legs. After he sent his photos and information in to firstname.lastname@example.org, he found out that the bird is 13 years old and was banded in 2008. (photos used with permission)
Did you ever imagine that your photos could help save a species? If you send in photos of monarchs, birds, dragonflies, seahorses, amphibians, earthworms, whales, robins, hummingbirds and more (or even trash and roadkill, or time lapse photos), your photos can be used by scientists to find out important information that can help save a species (or a river) for future generations. You can send photos to these projects on the NANPA, (the North American Nature Photography Association,) website below. NANPA is big on conservation photography and citizen science! For more information, CLICK HERE.
Bothered by invasive plants or animals? You can help, by noting the location and date and sending your photos to these websites:
Have you ever wondered if an animal, bird, or insect that you have photographed is endangered? CLICK HERE to find out more.
Here is the certificate that Paul received after sending in his photos.
I hope it’s exciting to realize that we all participate in science. Every time we observe an animal, bird, or other creature, we are learning about science (and when we share our photos, we are educating others about the mystery, beauty, and drama of the natural world) one photo at a time. As they say, a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words.
For most of my life, I took for granted the nature photography I saw in magazines and films, until I got to know a real life nature photographer in person. And gradually, I realized that if it wasn’t for nature photographers I would know very little about the natural world. Our photos educate the public about science.
Citizen Science… There are many ways that the public can help provide data to scientists for use in scientific studies. Citizen Science grew out of Participatory Action Research. Some of the related terms are service learning, collaborative research, community science, crowd-sourced science, civic science, volunteer monitoring, and community science—and of course, indigenous communities have collaborated to gather their own scientific knowledge used in farming, medicines, etc., for centuries. Citizen Science greatly expands the data that scientists can collect through public participation, while also increasing public understanding of science.
If you’d like to learn more about Citizen Science and ways to expand your scientific journeys, here are some links where you can learn more:
Stay tuned for upcoming webinars about Citizen Science. Have fun! And please feel free to share some of your exciting projects and discoveries with your local GNPA chapter, GNPA YouTube, Instagram, or our Facebook page. (If you share on FB, please tag me: Susan Perz.) Who knows? Maybe next time it will be you, sharing a short presentation or article on what you have discovered during your next Citizen Science adventure.
Dr. Susan Perz is a former school counselor who loves videography and photography. She is a member of the GNPA Conservation Committee and has her own YouTube channel and blog. She writes children’s picture books about social emotional learning and illustrates them with nature photography and watercolors. Thanks to Tammy Cash and Lisa Westbury for sharing a couple websites included in this article.
2021 SMOKIES WEEKEND UPDATE: Our Sunday speaker will be the one and only David Foster!
In addition to being one of GNPA’s first members and original board members, David is an award-winning nature photographer who specialized in healing art. After 30 years of photography as a personal pastime, he discovered his artistic passion and a desire to share his images. He began exhibiting and selling his work in 2006, and since then his images have been part of more than 75 regional, national and international exhibitions – including solo, juried and group shows. His work is held in the collections of numerous hospitals and other health settings, public buildings and many private collections across the US.
David’s a FANTASTIC speaker and workshop instructor. We can’t wait for him to join us at this year’s Smokies Weekend!
Plus we have TONS of field trips/excursions planned, including sunrises and sets, waterfalls, wildlife, Cades Cove, art/waterscapes and SO much more.
For more information about David and his work, visit his website HERE.
And stay tuned, and keep Nov. 4-7 free to join us in the Smokies!
Photo by Bill White
Up Next: EXPO and Smokies Trip
In September, GNPA members will have some great opportunities to learn new techniques and visit statewide photo hotspots as part of Virtual Expo 2021. This year’s event will feature a terrific lineup of keynote speakers and special seminars covering a wide range of nature photography topics. The 21 in-person guided photo trips will be held across Georgia from Sept. 10-17. The virtual programs, with two keynote speakers and 12 webinars, will be offered over Zoom Sept. 18 and 19.
The cost is only $95, and members who register (at GNPA.org) will be able to review all of the program recordings whenever they wish, at their convenience. But hurry; registration ends at 11 p.m. on Sept. 3.
Those seminars and field trips will offer opportunities to learn new photo skills that can be put to use during GNPA’s annual Fall Smokies Trip. This year’s event will be November 4-7, and is a trip you should not miss if you have never visited Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll have opportunities to photograph landscapes, macro subjects, sunrises, sunsets and animals such as bears, coyote and turkeys. More information is available on the GNPA website.
Meanwhile, make sure you sign up for the statewide GNPA Meetup Group. Each chapter has its own Meetup Group, but the state group allows you to keep abreast of all our programs and upcoming events.
The annual North Georgia Shootout will be Saturday Oct. 30, 2021, in Dallas, GA. Each participating club, including GNPA, puts together a team to compete for fun and prizes. Check out their website (northgeorgiacameraclubcouncil.org) for more information.
Remember that GNPA is always looking for a few good men and women to assist with programs, field trips and other events. If you are interested in getting involved, let me know.
See you in the field.
Photo by Bill White
A Busy Second Half of 2021
After a challenging year, things are looking up. Not only are our local chapters beginning to resume in-person meetings, but other events are being planned for the rest of the year. Here is quick update of what’s going on in GNPA:
We now have our own statewide Meetup page, listed as the Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) Group. This is a great group to join, because it will allow you to stay abreast of all GNPA programs and events. (If you’re not signed up for Meetup, you can join by opening a free account at Meetup.com). Some GNPA programs may be listed in both the local and our state Meetup groups.
GNPA also is hosting a brand-new Instagram feed, administered by member Jenny Burdette. Just search for gnpa_pix on Instagram to see photos from our members and learn more about the site. Be sure to read Jenny’s article, elsewhere in this newsletter, on how (and why) photographers should get started on Instagram.
Meanwhile, our group’s Facebook page has recently switched from a public page to a private one. This move, prompted by changes in Facebook’s rules, will allow us much better control of our page and help reduce spam. Our members aren’t likely to notice any changes, but let us know if you encounter any issues.
More good news for 2021: After having to cancel our 2020 Expo due to Covid, a new virtual Expo is being scheduled for September. This year’s event will feature in-person field trips across the state, as well as virtual speakers and webinars. Be on the lookout for more details coming soon.
Later this year, the GNPA will be hosting its fall trip to the Smokies on November 4-7. This event is a great opportunity to explore a wide range of locations around Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. One of the biggest benefits of visiting the Smokies as part of this event is the chance to discover new shooting locations with knowledgeable trip leaders, who can show you exactly where to go and provide advice on getting the best photos. Plus, this trip is a good way to make connections with other photographers.
Our new Programs Committee has been putting together monthly programs with interesting speakers that supplement your local chapter meetings. Keep sending your suggestions for speakers to Lee Friedman. His email address is listed on the officer’s page at gnpa.org (as are those of all our officers) if you want to get in touch.
Of course, without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to provide the programs, chapter meetings, field trips and other events that GNPA offers its members every month. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved, please let me know.
See you in the field.
GNPA’s Chapter Committee is up and running again, and we’re eager to hear from our chapter leadership and members!
Our members are the heart and soul of GNPA. Our chapters are the day-to-day way we connect and stay relevant. As an organization, GNPA is dedicated to helping nature photographers of all skill levels improve their photography and network with other outdoor photographers through the exciting meetings, meetups, trips and annual events we offer. A mission we could not fulfill without the hard work and active participation of our chapters.
I’m Anna DeStefano, a former board “member at large.” With the help of Ray Silva, who is a current board member in the same role, the Chapter Committee will be reaching out over the next weeks and months to both chapter leadership and members. We’ll be listening and observing, asking questions, and taking tons of notes. Our goal is to better understand GNPA chapter needs–and to assist the board in offering chapters and members the best support possible, as things begin to open up all over our beautiful state.
So…Look for us soon at a GNPA chapter meeting near you!
In the mean time, come back for regular “Chapter Talk” updates here on the blog and on GNPA’s Facebook and Instagram pages.