CAREER HISTORY & hIGHLIGHTS
Wildlife and wild places are my passion. I have extensive expertise capturing images of biodiversity in a variety of challenging environments, including work on all continents, with an emphasis in, on and around ocean and freshwater systems. I specialize in working in tight quarters to cover ongoing scientific and environmental operations. As the climate shifts and the sixth extinction accelerates, I will continue to use my skills and experience to help engender action on behalf of the environment.
My most recent project, Fragile Legacy, melds art, science, history and conservation, blending the work of modern-day marine biologist Drew Harvell and the famed father and son team of Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka into a compelling narrative of ocean change. At the turn of the last century, the Blaschkas produced exquisite, anatomically accurate glass models of soft-bodied sea creatures such as octopus and jellyfish. Purchased by universities and museums around the world, these antique models are considered today to be priceless works of art. I Produced Fragile Legacy, an environmental film narrated by Ted Danson, drawing parallels between these fragile 150-year-old glass pieces and the precarious health of today's ocean. Shot in Spain, Indonesia, Ireland and the US, Fragile Legacy has garnered awards for Best Picture, Best Short and Best of Show in film festivals from Monaco to Malaysia. My associates and I are now working on a longer version of the film. Dr. Harvell recounts some of our filming adventures in her award-winning book, "A Sea of Glass ." My photography may be found in that book, and is also featured in, “Sea Creatures in Glass: The Blascka Marine Animals at Harvard," recently released by Scala Publishers .
Ocean Bound & BASELINE
I conceived and populated the central exhibit of Ocean Bound, a virtual submarine ride from inland to ocean that uses high-resolution imaging to create a whirlwind ride through streams, rivers, and lakes, to the sea. This exhibit is on national tour in the US, providing an entertaining and educational experience of watersheds to audiences of all ages, a continuance of freshwater filming that I have been doing as an Audubon/Toyota Conservation Fellow as part of another project entitled “BASELINE.”
Cornell University/Laboratory of Ornithology
A part-time position at Cornell’s Johnson Museum of Art has enabled me to master studio lighting and technique to create archival-quality imaging of a wide variety of art pieces. I’ve brought a number of these studio techniques to my environmental work, such as capturing beautifully detailed pictures of tiny sea creatures as part of the Fragile Legacy project. Corrnell’s Lab of Ornithology was the recipient of a generous grant of then cutting-edge High Definition (HD) video equipment. My tenure there put this equipment in my hands ahead of much of the industry, and I used it to capture stunning animal behavior, from humpback whales in tropical Hawaiian waters to narwhal under six feet of Arctic pack ice. My close-quarters capabilities enabled coverage of small research teams working with puffins on a tiny island off Maine, and scientific efforts in small chase boats off the Bahamas to tag and track beaked whales. I was also deployed to cover the search for the ivory-billed woodpecker in the swamps of Arkansas, and capture the mating rituals of sage grouse in the Colorado highlands.
I owned and operated Passage Productions, a production company specializing in travel and wild subjects. I conceived and developed the first live undersea broadcast, or "uplink," to the Internet, enabling people around the world to interact in real time with my dive team in Fiji. I hired, trained and led these uplink teams for deployment worldwide, building an extensive image archive of diverse wildlife and cultures throughout the tropics and within both the Arctic and Antarctic circles. At peak capacity, I was directing three teams of three camera operators, divers and naturalists. Locations and subjects included work for the National Marine Sanctuary Program in every US marine sanctuary, producing footage and uplinks to support designation of new and expanded sanctuaries in Hawaii and off the Olympic Coast, and coverage of the most comprehensive study of blue whales ever done, including both above and below-water encounters with the animals. We also produced uplink and naturalist programs for major cruise companies, with locations in Alaska, Indonesia, Africa, and around South and Central America. I filmed in the Manu Biosphere Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, working with National Geographic photographer Loren McIntyre, for whom I also served as a consultant on the NGS book "The World's Wild Shores." I was contracted to film a deep-sea search for INS Dakar, an Israeli submarine that had vanished thirty-two years before in the Eastern Mediterranean. The search was successful, and we returned the following year to raise a piece of the sub, now a monument in Haifa. My coverage of the Dakar expeditions are the basis for National Geographic's Mystery of the Dakar. The project is also recounted in "Never Forgotten: The Search and Discovery of Israel's Lost Submarine Dakar" by David Jourdan.
The Cousteau Society
My first "real job"with The Cousteau Society afforded wonderful opportunities for professional and personal growth. I was charged with developing and executing a lecture program about the marine environment for university, college and trade association audiences throughout North America. While both Captain Jacques Cousteau and his son, Jean-Michel were instrumental in my professional growth, it was the latter who continually challenged me to stretch my public speaking capabilities, having me perform spontaneously in front of audiences ranging from 7 to 7,000 people. My expedition and diving skills also grew exponentially during this time – when not on the lecture circuit, I was aboard vessels Calypso or Alcyone, or serving on flying teams as part of the production team for the TBS series “Cousteau’s Rediscovery of the World.” Locations included Papua New Guinea, Cuba, Australia, Alaska, Mexico, the BVI, Hawaii and more, including coverage of subjects ranging from submarine lava flows to the first documentation of orcas feeding on sharks. Another pivotal experience of that time was eight months spent documenting the aftermath of the wreck of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound, Alaska.