How photography captures the wilderness of today and inspires our tomorrow

“Ask yourself: “Does this subject move me to feel, think and dream?”

– Ansel Adams

SummitWest field biologists often find themselves in unimaginable landscapes in search of rare, sometimes small, and elusive species. Few people will ever have the chance to observe a burrowing owl, kit fox, or fairy shrimp in their natural habitats. Thankfully photographs can bring the wildness to us. In the same way that Ansel Adams’ photographs made the landscapes of our National Parks real for policy makers in Washington DC, so too do our biologists’ photographs bring to life the importance of our work. Their images remind us of the incredible diversity that lives among us and our unwavering commitment to its preservation.

We invite you to take a closer look

We are proud to spotlight our amazing biologists and to share what and who they have found in the field. We invite you to take a closer look at the talent and heart behind their photographs that appear on our website, as we hope the images inspire you to feel, think and dream.

Allison Johnson – “Allison grew up immersed in nature, and as a young child she always found herself asking questions that no one around her could answer.”

Andromeda Figueroa – Joshua trees are lucky to have a friend in Andromeda, whose extensive knowledge of desert ecosystems makes her no stranger to their hot and dry habitats.

Chez Brungraber – Quick to grab a dip net, transect tape, power suit or whatever it takes to get the job done, Chez forged SummitWest’s path with over a decade of her own field work in California and continues to lead and create a place for innovation within the environmental industry.

Christian Hicks – Sparked by the changes he saw happening to the landscape around his San Diego home, Christian fosters a positive relationship and an active role in the environment. Camera in hand, he is a constant explorer of the natural world.

Colin Durkin – A true biologist, Colin has surveyed animals large and small, wet and winged, and the vegetative communities they need to survive. His careful observations and solid field skills win him a place on any team.

Emily Brouwer – A midwesterner that found her way to the Pacific coast and hasn’t looked back.

Griffin Brungraber – As “Q” is to James Bond, Griffin is the secret brain behind all of SummitWest’s technical field needs. He squares away our radios, GPS units, effortlessly navigates drones and 4×4 vehicles, and is a steadfast support for our field crew.

Hannah Chickering – With an eagle’s eye and a fox’s cunning, Hannah is a tenacious project manager that knows her way around the field and biological permitting processes.

Katelyn Hammel – Be it birds, snakes, fish or dogs, Katelyn always has an animal at her side.

Michael Schwanhauser – Michael is as comfortable in the forests of the Pacific Northwest as the salamanders, owls, and martens he is surveying. His background in communication allows him to effortlessly break down complex topics for a variety of audiences.

Sam Kille – When you have spent hundreds of dedicated hours working with threatened and endangered species, you are bound to have a few good stories to tell.

Sepanta Jafari Jozani – A beautiful blend of artist and biologist, Sepanta uses his talents to tell the story of the ecological impacts of climate change.

Zach Kinnman – Thankful for a childhood that allowed him to wander in creeks and scan the skies, we have the biologist and activist we do today in Zach.

An additional thank you to our prior SummitWest field biologists Brandon Pang, Justin Lepore, Kym Gibson, and Lyndia Nguyen whose photography and fieldwork have contributed to our past and future successes.

– Written by Erin Barnholdt, SummitWest Project Developer.