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Shannon Switzer    

Photojournalist/ Water Conservationist

Shannon Switzer is a published conservation writer, award-winning photographer and one of National Geographics 2011 Young Explorer Grantees. With a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Shannon has conducted field research and photographed endangered species and remote cultures worldwide. Shes lived in Australia, Uganda, the Seychelles Islands and on a boat sailing and surfing 3,000 miles down the coast of Mexico and Central America.

Her goal as a conservationist is three-pronged. First, to bridge the gap between the scientific community and the greater public through engaging writing and imagery. Second, to ensure that scientific research reaches and can be digested by the public i.e. the people who affect it and are affected by it. Third, to inspire and educate an eclectic mix of audiences and be a catalyst for human-environmental change.

Above and beyond all other ecosystems, Shannon has always been drawn to the world of water, especially the salty version. Because of this affinity, a large portion of her work focuses on marine and freshwater ecosystems. She uses her photography and writing to emphasize how the two are connected and the importance of developing solutions so that we can continue to enjoy and benefit from clean water.

This was the focus of Shannons most recent project documenting the health of San Diegos watersheds and how they impact the ocean and the health of those who enjoy the ocean. Through this project, partially funded by a National Geographic Young Explorers grant, she worked with and disseminated imagery to many of the local non-profits with programs aimed at improving water quality.

In the same vein, Shannon strives to partner with non-profit organizations as often as possible. To date she has worked with The Jane Goodall Institute, The Denis Island Conservancy, The San Diego River Park Foundation, CoastKeeper, The San Dieguito River Conservancy, WiLDCoast and the UCSB Coastal Fund. She has also worked with the International League of Conservation Photographers as an emerging member and joined them on their 2009 Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE) in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Shannon has held positions with a variety of professional organizations and companies that have helped shape the work she does today. She has worked on concept development, research and script writing at Pacific Coast Video Productions for TV shows airing on Discovery, National Geographic and the History Channel, conducted investigative work on articles for the Santa Barbara Independent and cared for rescued endangered wildlife at Wild Wonders. She strives to take the skills she has learned from each experience and incorporate them into every project she touches.


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Shannon Switzer – News Watch

Posted by Shannon Switzer in Water Currents on May 25, 2013. (13). More ». I'm no twitcher, and before last weekend the closest I'd ever come to the world of ...

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