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Neil Losin
Works at Day's Edge Productions
Attended University of California, Los Angeles
Lives in Boulder, CO
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Neil Losin

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Important, sobering stuff from +Tom Levenson on SciAm: There will be significant effects on scientific research and training capacity in the US if the sequester is allowed to happen... Effects that could easily last a generation.
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the whole sequester thing is braindead.  If it really happens... well I can't believe I have more faith to lose in the federal government, but if they do this I think the last shred of it will be gone.
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Neil Losin

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Already shared by others, but definitely worth a read if you haven't already: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/conservation-photography-and-necessary-evils.html

A few thoughts:
1) Morgan Heim's comments in this article are dead-on.
2) The author is too dismissive of the opposing viewpoint. While I think conservation photographers have a strong sense that the good they're doing outweighs the "necessary evils" like a high carbon footprint (and I have a feeling they're right), I don't think nearly enough work has been done to evaluate the impact of conservation photography projects.

So, does an activity like conservation photography really have a net positive impact on the environment? I suspect it does, but I don't think we have the data to show that conclusively. The NSF now demands a formal evaluation be built in to every science outreach grant they award... Perhaps all of the organizations commissioning conservation media should be doing the same. Yes, evaluation costs money. But in the long run, solid metrics of impact in environmental messaging, ideally shared among organizations, can advance the practice of environmental communication for everyone's good.
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Neil Losin

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Hugo is an unstoppable fetching machine in the snow. Taken in Boulder CO, February 2013.
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Neil Losin

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Hey all, my buddy +Nathan Dappen is safe in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, but he doesn't have electricity or an Internet connection, and can't promote our Dos Equis project today -- the FINAL DAY of voting... So we need your help getting the word out! Cast your vote for "Men on the Moon" to help us make an awesome film about climate change and tropical glaciers in Africa! Click on "Grant Worthy" to cast your vote!

Please share if you can! In the home stretch, every vote matters. Thanks!!!

http://www.mostinterestingacademy.com/staythirstygrant
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Neil Losin

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Neil Losin

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Already shared by others, but definitely worth a read if you haven't already: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/conservation-photography-and-necessary-evils.html

A few thoughts:
1) Morgan Heim's comments in this article are dead-on.
2) The author is too dismissive of the opposing viewpoint. While I think conservation photographers have a strong sense that the good they're doing outweighs the "necessary evils" like a high carbon footprint (and I have a feeling they're right), I don't think nearly enough work has been done to evaluate the impact of conservation photography projects.

So, does an activity like conservation photography really have a net positive impact on the environment? I suspect it does, but I don't think we have the data to show that conclusively. The NSF now demands a formal evaluation be built in to every science outreach grant they award... Perhaps all of the organizations commissioning conservation media should be doing the same. Yes, evaluation costs money. But in the long run, solid metrics of impact in environmental messaging, ideally shared among organizations, can advance the practice of environmental communication for everyone's good.
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I'm not sure that this article does a fair job at presenting alternatives to achieving conservation success. I am a firm believe that conservation photography can produce positive conservation outcomes, but the idea that it is NECESSARY is a bit ludicrous. It's no more necessary than good science to diagnose threats and declines, and to guide conservation actions. In fact it's a whole lot less necessary to the entire process. In cases where informing the public is priority visual media is but ONE way to inform decision makers (you optimistically state these are citizens of democracy rather than politicians and business). In some cases imagery may be less effective than ecological investigation and experimentation or even modelling approaches to stop population declines. Dare I say a few lines of great poetry could even sway less visually biased decision makers. If conservation biology has agreed on anything it's that one size doesn't fit all.

Failing to atleast entertain some alternate routes for achieving conservation success leaves conservation photographers myopic and ultimately may hinder the most cost effective conservation. You focus on "successful" case studies, which there are quite a few, where powerful imagery played a huge role in changing priorities and influencing conservation outcomes, but there are probably many more conservation stories where DESPITE powerful imagery, outcomes have been far from successful. Why are these projects unsuccessful? Could projects succeed WITHOUT imagery? There are probably a decent number of those too....

Overall, conservation photography in it's infancy seems alot like conservation biology in it's infancy, triage, calamity and overwhelming attention to small population paradigms that ignore some of the larger ULTIMATE causes for population declines and ecosystem degradation. More recently conservation biology has moved towards quantifiable cost benefit analysis, diagnosing declining populations, finding low-hanging fruit for cost effective conservation action and finding synergistic values between ecologists and economists. All these ideas have faced pushback, as I'm sure the development of conservation photography will. Just remember that if we're all on the same page of creating successful conservation outcomes, no tool is worthless, but no tool is essential in all cases either....

Cheers,

Abe
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Neil Losin

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The third photo album from our Dos Equis-funded expedition to Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains. In this album, we focus on the amazing plants and animals of the Rwenzori Mountains, many of them found nowhere else on Earth.
 
Here is the third photo album from our Dos Equis-funded expedition to Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains. Our objective was to document the rapidly disappearing glaciers of the Rwenzoris, but along the way we encountered many other amazing sights. In this album, we focus on some of the unique plant and animal inhabitants of the Rwenzori Mountains.
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Neil Losin

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Here's the second gallery from our Rwenzori Mountains expedition in January, in which we climb the highest peaks in the range and explore their vanishing tropical glaciers!
 
Here is the second image gallery from our January expedition to document the rapidly retreating tropical glaciers of Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains. The trip was funded by a Stay Thirsty Grant from Dos Equis. This is what happens when beer money funds science and exploration!
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Neil Losin

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I don't always study glaciers. But when I do, I prefer that they be in the tropics. Sound like a joke? It's not -- check out our video, 'Men on the Moon," and vote for our project to win a Dos Equis grant using the "Grant Worthy" button. It just takes a few seconds, and you can vote once per day through October 30 -- just one week to go!

http://www.mostinterestingacademy.com/staythirstygrant

Thanks to everyone for your votes, and for sharing the link with your friends!
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Biologist, Photographer, Filmmaker
Employment
  • Day's Edge Productions
    Biologist, Photographer, Filmmaker, present
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Boulder, CO
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Evolutionary biologist, filmmaker, photographer
Introduction
I am a biologist, photographer, and filmmaker based in Boulder, Colorado. I have a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology from UCLA. I'm also a National Geographic Explorer. I produce science and adventure media with Dr. Nathan Dappen through our company, Day's Edge Productions, and you can see my nature and wildlife photography at Neil Losin Photography.
Education
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    2012
  • University of Virginia
    2004
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Male