Project Abstract (2017)

Not many people understand how fragile and specific some animals’ relationships are to their environment. While many people might find the scientific research on these topics to be boring or difficult to understand, most people can appreciate a beautiful photograph. Because of this, I want to be able to show how delicate and distinct those relationships are through beautiful photographs of herpetofauna juxtaposed with their environments. My goal is for people to apply the ecological understanding gained from this juxtaposition to how they treat the environment in general. Amphibians are considered indicator species, the first to be affected by pollution and unnatural disturbances. Likewise, many reptiles occupy highly specific niche roles and are in constant threat of vanishing if their habitats are not respected and preserved. As a whole, many species of herpetofauna occupy unique habitats that have directly caused their evolution and specialization. The environment defines these animals, and understanding how linked this definition is to the identity of these species is essential for understanding the importance of preserving that environment. I want my research to be an artistic representation of the fragility of our ecosystems, clearly showing the vital relationship between subject and place in order to make the reasons to treat our natural surroundings with more respect salient in a simple and beautiful way.

From Sloughs to Sky Islands: A Photographic Look into the Relationship between Reptiles and Amphibians and the Environments they Inhabit