Living in the Anthropocene: A Photojournalist’s Perspective

Dennis Dimick has focused his journalism career on the collision between human aspiration and the planet. The son of fisheries biologists, Dimick grew up on a farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and he holds degrees in agriculture and agricultural journalism from Oregon State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his 35 years at National Geographic, he served for over a decade as the magazine’s environment editor, and guided major projects on climate change, energy, freshwater, population, and food security. Dimick is co-founder of Eyes on Earth, a project meant to inspire a new generation of environmental photographers.

As a young man, Dimick witnessed firsthand the price of progress when his family’s farm was cut in half by the construction of an interstate beltway. This invasion of their farm, in addition to the clear-cut logging of nearby forests where Dimick had spent his youth, combined to sensitize him to the profound impacts of human progress on the Earth. Early photography experience and his personal connection to the effects of human progress led to a life and career spent combining these two dimensions.

Clearcut Forest in Oregon's Cascase Mountains in April, 2016

Clear-cut timber harvest in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains south of Eugene in 2016, one of a series of images for an ongoing project documenting the Anthropocene landscape across North America as seen from passenger airplanes. Photo: Dennis Dimick

In anticipation of his participation in the 2018 Wisconsin Science Festival, I asked Mr. Dimick some questions about photojournalism, and what it’s like documenting the human impact on the environment. Some of his answers have been slightly edited for clarity.

What does it take to be a good environmental photographer? Continue reading

My City Flooded, and There’s More to Come

It seemed like the rain was never going to stop. It started in the morning, and when I left work around 5pm, it was still coming down hard. I took my normal route home through a back country road. As I turned right onto Fitchrona Road, a long line of cars came into view. There’s usually some congestion leading to the stop sign ahead. Except today, something was different. About 20 yards of the road ahead was submerged in water. Continue reading

Summer Friday Fun Blog: A Trip to Central Africa

Falls near Ganga Research Station, Mbam & Djerem National Park, Cameroon Photo credit: Central African  Biodiversity Alliance

Falls near Ganga Research Station, Mbam & Djerem National Park, Cameroon Photo credit: Central African Biodiversity Alliance

On Friday’s this summer, Promega Connections is out for some summer fun and virtual travel. This Friday we travel, courtesy of Science 360, to Central Africa to learn a little bit about the work of the Central African Biodiversity Alliance–an international partnership of scientists, students and policy makers. These people are doing research, and instead of simply publishing scientific journals they are taking the next step reaching out to educate policy makers and citizens about their work, so that as central Africa develops, it can do so with an eye to preserving as much of its rich ecology and biodiversity as possible.

Rapid Evolution in Response to Rapid Climate Change?

21491767_lIn celebration of Earth month, Environmental Education Week, Earth Day and National DNA Day (celebrated this week in many nations),  we have a Science 360 video that highlights the work of Drs. Bradshaw and Holzapfel to explore climate change-driven genetic shifts in the Pitcher Plant Mosquito. It’s a fascinating and thought-provoking question these scientists are trying to answer. You can read more of the latest work at their laboratory web site.  What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day/Environmental Education Week activities?