National Geographic Wildlife Photographer to Be Fall Speaker in Distinguished Lecture Series
Nichols is leader in effort to protect African elephantsThursday, October 17, 2013
National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols holding a camera-carrying electric helicopter, one of his many photographic innovations (courtesy Ken Geiger, National Geographic)
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Michael “Nick” Nichols, National Geographic editor-at-large for photography, will speak and show photographs from his recent work at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Hillside Auditorium at the University of Arkansas. The presentation is co-sponsored by the student Distinguished Lectures Committee and the Lehr Family.
The event is free of charge and no tickets are required.
Nichols recently published Earth to Sky: Among Africa's Elephants, a Species in Crisis (Aperture 2013), a book that represents the culmination of his interaction with African elephants over the course of 20 years. Nichols uses his images to bring readers directly into the elephant’s lives and habitats, from lush forests and open savannas to stark landscapes ravaged by human intervention. The book will be available for sale at the lecture and Nichols will sign copies after he speaks.
“John and Kellie Lehr approached the Distinguished Lectures Committee about the possibility of working together to bring Nick Nichols to the U of A,” said Tyler Priest, student chair of the committee. “We are very excited for this opportunity to partner with the Lehr Family to bring such an outstanding speaker to campus.”
Kellie Lehr, who graduated from the University of Arkansas in 1992, and her husband John are longtime advocates for preserving and protecting Africa’s wildlife. They got to know Nichols through his work and their shared interests.
“We are excited to be a part of bringing Nick Nichols to the University of Arkansas to share his amazing work and passion for protecting endangered wildlife,” said Kellie Lehr. “We’ve been inspired by his passion, level of commitment and willingness to take risks in pursuit of his amazing photography. His images enable those who can’t speak for themselves to communicate a powerful message. Nick’s work has led to important action, including the creation of a National Park system in Gabon. It’s wonderful to be able to support the university, the preservation of wildness and the efforts of a good friend at the same time.”
Nichols is a wildlife journalist who did his first story for National Geographic magazine in 1989 and was named editor-at-large for photography in 2008. He is known for his powerful and beautiful images, as well as his innovative photographic techniques. These techniques are displayed in articles such as “The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion” (National Geographic August 2013), where he used a robot controlled mini-tank for eye-level views, and a tiny camera-carrying electric helicopter; in “Redwoods: The Super Trees” (National Geographic October 2009), Nichols broke new ground by using innovative rigging techniques to create an 84 image composite of a 300-foot-tall, 1,500-year-old redwood tree. He used the same technology to photograph a giant sequoia in a blizzard for the December 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine.
The heart of Nichols’ mission is to preserve true wildness and he works to create images that show what may be gained in caring for this magnificent planet and what may be lost.
The Distinguished Lecture Series is a student-sponsored program. Speakers are chosen by a committee of students, faculty and staff, and the events are funded by a student-approved fee, appropriated by the Programs Allocation Board.
Tyler Priest, student chair
Distinguish Lecture Series Committee
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations