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NHSSP: Fostering My Future Aspirations

By November 24, 2015No Comments

Story and Photographs by Lione Clare

Steelwool Image © Lione Clare

Steelwool Image © Lione Clare

I was born and raised in Sitka, Alaska, and fell in love with nature at a young age. My interest in photography began at thirteen and quickly developed into an avid passion that has awarded me many unique opportunities and winnings in local, state, and international contests, including the North Pacific Research Board (state) and Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year (international) photo contests.

I worked as a newspaper photographer for the Daily Sitka Sentinel for two summers when I was fourteen and fifteen. In 2012, I attended Maine Media Workshops in Rockport to develop my photographic skills. Following that workshop, I spent five days being mentored by photographer, writer, and educator, Tim Grey, in New York City.

Crater Sunrise © Lione Clare

Crater Sunrise © Lione Clare

A big highlight for me, that has sparked future desires, was being selected as one of ten students to receive a scholarship to participate in the 2013 NANPA High School Scholarship Program (NHSSP) offered by the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). Along with the other selected students, I attended the summit conference in Jacksonville, Florida, and learned lasting skills from professional photographers. On the final night of the summit, James Balog presented and showed his film, Chasing Ice. This heavily inspired my growing interests in the environment and the world’s changing climate.

My NANPA experience has continued to influence me throughout the past two years. One of my photos was selected to be one of ten in the NANPA “Future” part of “The Past, Present, and Future of Nature Photography” exhibit in the International Photography Hall of Fame in Saint Louis, Missouri. NANPA was my first exposure to wildlife photography, and this past March, I was the guest young photographer on a two-week photo safari in Tanzania with professional photographers James Martin and Jennifer Wu. Gabby Salazar, who was president of NANPA at the time, recommended me for this amazing opportunity.

Nature photography, a passion beginning with NANPA, has inspired me to learn more about conservation and the environment. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Montana majoring in resource conservation and minoring in climate change studies. Of particular interest to me are climate changes close to home, in the Tongass National Forest that surrounds my hometown on Baranof Island in Southeast Alaska. This 17-million-acre temperate rainforest is the nation’s largest national forest and climate change is especially threatening its glaciers and yellow cedar trees. I have worked for the Sitka Conservation Society (SCS) for the past three summers doing photography and video work involving assignments in the Tongass wilderness. SCS works to protect the Tongass by implementing ecosystem and wilderness restoration studies and projects, and promoting sustainable communities, lifestyles, and economies in Southeast Alaska.

Someday, I hope to use my photography to communicate earth’s climate changes and the need for wildlife and ecosystem conservation with people all around the world. I want to thank NANPA for the incredible experiences it has provided me and for fostering my future aspirations.

To see more of Lione’s photographs, please visit:, follow @lioneclarephotography on Instagram, and like Lione Clare Photography on Facebook.

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