Nature Conservancy magazine’s Director of Photography Melissa Ryan will discuss the participatory photography workshop that she and photographer Jason Houston created to use photography as an engagement experience for individuals & communities working to conserve their natural resources.
Mercy Mason, one of the high school students who participated in the workshop, will present her personal experience and speak to the impacts the workshop had on her and her community.
The participatory photo workshop was held in July 2016 in the remote village of Klemtu, deep in the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest.
Mercy Mason is a high-school senior at Kitasoo Community School in Klemtu, British Columbia, Canada. Mercy has participated in several programs supported by the Spirit Bear Lodge and designed to help engage youth in the community with their cultural heritage and the environment including the Súa Youth Cultural Group and the Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards (SEAS) Community Initiative Internship. In 2016, as part of a Nature Conservancy magazine assignment on the SEAS program, TNC Canada hosted Photography Director, Melissa Ryan, and photographer, Jason Houston, to run a participatory camera workshop with SEAS interns. Mercy is in the Blackfish clan of the Kitasoo Xai'Xais First Nations.
Melissa Ryan is the director of photography for Nature Conservancy magazine, the flagship publication of the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, The Nature Conservancy.
Melissa works in close partnership with photographers to create & publish dynamic environmental conservation stories that reveal the connections between global natural resource use, scientific research, and the beauty & wonder of the natural world.
Melissa’s goal is to elevate the authentic, unique vision of the photographer so they can create compelling visual images that will inspire & inform viewers and help ensure lasting conservation solutions.
Previously, Melissa was a photo editor at National Geographic Books where she edited 16 books on topics, such as: nature, space, travel, ancient civilizations, dolphins, and clean water.
Melissa began her career more than twenty-five years ago at the University of Texas-Austin where she earned her photojournalism degree specializing in social documentary projects on youth, incarceration, and elder care.