Earth, Guacimo Students to Go on Assignment with National Geographic

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and National Geographic contributor Jay Dickman will give a group of students from EARTH University and the nearby community of Guácimo in Costa Rica a unique opportunity to document their lives and surroundings during National Geographic Photo Camp 2008. From Saturday, July 26, to Wednesday, July 30, the students will photograph, edit and design a portrait of the university, with special attention to its people, atmosphere and activities. The Photo Camp is presented in partnership with EARTH University, an international, nonprofit institution that aims to build a future in which the humid tropics and their communities achieve social, economic and environmental well-being.

During the five-day workshop, Dickman will brief the students on photographic vision, equipment and technique and guide them through the process of creating a story through photography and writing, working with cameras and laptop computers provided by National Geographic. The students will be assigned to photograph images expressing EARTH University’s sense of place and people as well as the nearby farming communities. In addition to Dickman, the young photographers will be mentored by National Geographic magazine senior photo editor Sadie Quarrier and photography students from Veritas University in San Jose, Costa Rica, who will coach the students on the production of a multimedia show and review their work using the photographs as a catalyst for discussion.

Participants, their families and community members are invited to a final presentation of the students’ work at 1:30 p.m. at EARTH University’s conference room on the final day.

“We hope that Photo Camp 2008 will provide students with a unique lens on the world and help expand their awareness of the environment and their impact on it,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s executive vice president, Mission Programs. “We are honored to participate in this endeavor.”

The theme of the Photo Camp is the environment and conservation, and the aim is to draw attention to youth perspectives on their generation’s connection to the natural world.

EVOLT SLR cameras for the Photo Camp have been provided by Olympus Imaging America Inc. Memory cards have been donated to the Photo Camp program by PNY Technologies.

In addition to more than 25 assignments for National Geographic magazine, Dickman has worked on many of the “A Day in the Life” photography books and photographed for various national publications and magazines. His photographic and editorial expertise has earned him national and regional awards, including a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Featured Photography, the World Press “Golden Eye” and the Sigma Delta Chi “Distinguished Service in Journalism” awards. Dickman is among an elite group of photographers who are “Olympus Visionaries” and Lexar “Elite Photographers.”

National Geographic Mission Programs also is sponsoring Photo Camps this year in Taos, N.M.; Rajasthan, India; Chesapeake Bay; Appalachian Trail; Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, S.D.; Camden, Maine; New York; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Miami, in partnership with VisionWorkshops of Annapolis, Md.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 300 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy.

EARTH University’s mission is to prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to the sustainable development of the humid tropics and to construct a prosperous and just society. Founded in 1986, EARTH University focuses on empowering emerging leaders throughout the region by providing them access to a quality education and equipping them with the skills, knowledge and strong values to improve the quality of life in their communities.

Leave a Reply