Eye on the environment

I want to share a few images that recently were selected by the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment. This year’s challenge was ‘People in Action, in the Environment’.

mcut 1

The first image is taken at The Nature Conservancy’s Mexican Cut preserve. The site is a glacial cirque at more than 12000′ elevation. While working at the nearby Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory last June, I climbed to the preserve with a few other researchers. Will Petry took the opportunity to make a watercolor painting, shortly after the sunrise. I think the beauty of places like this inspires us to love landscapes more deeply and to so do better science.

We visited the site before the summer snow had melted. Galena Lake, enclosed within the Mexican Cut, was still filled with ice, as you see below. I went for a swim and lasted no more than half a minute before needing to escape!

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The second prize-winning image comes from fieldwork in Peru last May. Here you see Efrain Lopez Choque navigating an instrument into the canopy of the cloud forest. He was working with Allie Shenkin measuring light levels at different heights in the canopy using sensors attached to the metal pole. Navigating this kind of instrument in the forest isn’t easy. I once had an ant fall out of a branch, then sting me in the eye – a few minutes of painful blindness was the only prize for that misadventure.

peru efrain

The other winning images can be seen here. Check them out!

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