Posts Tagged 'National Geographic'

Q&A with Photojournalist and Ocean Advocate Brian Skerry!

In advance of his special lecture at the Aquarium on March 18th, we chatted with photographer Brian Skerry about what inspired him to pursue a career in photojournalism and how his work inspires others to protect our oceans!

brian skerry photographer

What first interested you about photographing marine wildlife?
From a very young age, I was captivated by marine wildlife. There was something mysterious to me about the sea and the creatures that lived there and I had a great desire to spend time with these animals and learn more about them.

If you had to pick one subject to photograph for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
A difficult question for sure, but I think I would say sharks. For me, these animals represent the perfect blend of grace and power and I’ve never tired of photographing them.

brian skerry and shark - photography

If the folks who engaged with your photographs could take away one thing about our oceans and their future, what would you hope for it to be?
That Earth’s ocean is a very, very special place, but it needs our help to survive.

How have you seen the areas your work represents change in recent years?
I began simply wanting to make beautiful pictures of animals or places that interested me. While I still have this desire, I have seen many problems occurring in our ocean and I feel compelled to tell these stories too, as a way of effecting positive change.

brian skerry photography

How does your new book, Ocean Soul, help to further your mission to increase protection of special ocean places?
A book has a long shelf-life so it can attract new readers over time. A book like this also allows me to tell my story; my journey of ocean exploration, the animals and places I’ve seen and how I have begun to connect the dots with species and ecosystems.

Join us for Brian Skerry’s Upcoming Lecture!

What: A lecture from “Ocean Soul: A Photojournalists Journey,” book signing to follow

When: March 18, 2014 at 7 pm EST

Where: National Aquarium
A livestream will also be available online.

To purchase tickets for this event, please visit aqua.org/lectures

Photo Re-cap: Instagram Takeover with Jeff Mauritzen!

Last week, we partnered with internationally-known photographer Jeff Mauritzen for our first-ever Instagram takeover!

Throughout the week, Jeff shared some of his favorite Aquarium photos from a recent photo shoot for Ranger Rick Magazine. Be sure to check out Jeff’s piece is Ranger Rick’s April 2014 issue!

Miss out on the fun from last week’s takeover? Here’s a full photo re-cap:

Like what you see? Be sure to connect with the National Aquarium and Jeff Mauritzen on Instagram! 

Instagram Takeover with Photographer Jeff Mauritzen!

Calling all photography-lovers! We’ve partnered with photographer Jeff Mauritzen to do our first Instagram takeover!

Jeff Mauritzen

Jeff travels the world on assignments with organizations like
National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institution!

All week Jeff will be sharing some of his favorite photos with our Instagram community! Many of these images were taken at a recent underwater shoot in our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. 

Follow National Aquarium on Instagram to see all of the amazing images Jeff  will be sharing with us this week!

Here’s a some more info on our guest ‘gram-er:

Jeff Mauritzen is a Washington, DC photographer specializing in commercial, nature and travel photography. He also serves as a naturalist and photography expert for National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institution.

Jeff’s unique and diverse skill set has taken him all over the world, from Kenya to Tanzania and the Galapagos!

Most recently, he visited the National Aquarium for an underwater photography assignment with Ranger Rick magazine. Make sure to check out the piece in their upcoming April 2014 issue.

We’re excited to see what incredible images Jeff has in store for us!

The DeepSea Challenger is Coming to Washington, DC!

Explorer & Academy-Award winner, James Cameron, will be bringing DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, the  world’s only piloted submersible capable of diving to full-ocean depth, to Washington, DC on June 11, 2013!

deepsea challenger

The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER. Photo credit: Mark Thiessen/National Geographic

Cameron piloted the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER to a depth of 35,787 feet in the Challenger Deep, an area located within the US Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, last year. He became the first person in history to reach the Challenger Deep as a sole pilot!

This historic dive was part of the broader DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Expedition, the first manned scientific expedition to explore the Mariana and New Britain Trenches, and marked the first time in 52 years a human reached the world’s deepest known point.

Not only was Cameron’s expedition historically important, the trip was also sparked a renewed interest in deep sea exploration and research. The Expedition’s scientific findings included the discovery of at least 68 new species!

DEEPSEA CHALLENGER Visits Washington, DC 

When: 
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
12:30 pm

Where:
Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Washington DC (located on Pennsylvania Ave. between the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and the Federal Triangle Metro Station, right across the street from National Aquarium, Washington, DC)

What: 
Guests will enjoy a fun, ocean-related presentation by James Cameron himself, Susan Avery, President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Avatar Alliance Foundation outreach team, and National Aquarium CEO, John Racanelli. Education activities will also be on-site. 

By bringing the submersible to our nation’s capital, the Avatar Alliance Foundation hopes to engage local students and reinforce the critical importance of STEM education for future advances in the fields of engineering, robotics, ocean science and research.

The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER’s stop in Washington, DC will be its fifth stop in a nation-wide trek from Los Angeles to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, where the submersible’s engineering advancements will be incorporated into further research.

The truck carrying the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER cross-country!

The truck carrying the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER cross-country!

Cameron is a member of the Advisory Board for WHOI’s new Center for Marine Robotics.

We hope you can join us for this historic event! 

National Aquarium at the TEDxDeExtinction Conference!

On March 15th, researchers and theorists from around the world gathered at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC to discuss the real possibility of bringing species like the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and the Cuban red macaw back from extinction. This first-ever TEDxDeExtinction conference was considered to be the global introduction to a new field in conservation biology, “de-extinction.” By closely examining the DNA of museum specimens, this emerging field of scientists hopes to incorporate the genes responsible for certain traits of the extinct species into the genome of a similar species.

During Friday’s talk, National Aquarium staff and our blue hyacinth macaw, Margaret, were on hand to talk to the 500+ attendees about the immediate changes we can make as a global society to PREVENT species extinction. As exciting as this new concept is, scientists have also voiced concern that de-extinction will distract from the conservation of species like the hyacinth macaw.

TED prize winner Sylvia Earle stopped by to say hello to Margaret during Friday's event.

TED prize winner Sylvia Earle stopped by to say hello to Margaret during Friday’s event.

Native to the Patanal region of South America, hyacinth macaws are an endangered species. Similar to the Cuban red macaw – one of the species being discussed on stage as a candidate for de-extinction – habitat loss, local hunting practices and the pet trade are all factors contributing to the decline of hyacinth macaw populations in the wild. Unfortunately, more than a century after the extinction of the Cuban red macaw, birds like Margaret are still facing these human-imposed challenges to survival.

Margaret, now 24 years old, came to our organization from a private home. As is the case with many exotic pets, pet owners under-estimate size (from head to the tip of her tail, Margaret is about 3 ft. long!) and cost of care and eventually, can no longer care for the animal. Luckily, Margaret’s previous owner worked with the Aquarium to find her a good home. Margaret is now an advocate for the preservation of her species and others like her!

Stay tuned for more updates on TEDxDeExtinction! 


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