The International League of Conservation Photographers’ WILDspeak Symposium is right around the corner. Scheduled for November 15 & 16, 2016, in Washington, D.C., numerous presenters will be on hand to address how photography and video are impacting conservation efforts around the globe.
Former National Geographic photographer Karen Kasmauski will be part of a panel discussing “The Human Cost of Energy.” As a photographer, filmmaker, project manager and educator, she’s addressed many global health and global change issues. She examined the causes of infectious diseases in her book, “IMPACT: From the Front Lines of Global Health,” and explored global issues facing the nursing profession in her award-winning book, “NURSE: A World of Care,” which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
Earlier this year, as part of a conservation expedition conducted by the iLCP and its partner organization the Environmental Integrity Project, Kasmauski and fellow photographers traveled to Southwest Pennsylvania to document the impacts of fracking.
“I’ve worked on oil and gas issues for a long time,” she explains. “I started out in Appalachia doing this when I was a volunteer out of college. We looked at things like coal and oil development in the area. And it was at that point I saw the beginnings of how land and health are related.”
While on site in Pennsylvania, Kasmauski’s job was to document how fracking impacts families in the community. “It’s really about looking at conservation in the totality of communities and the land on which the communities exist,” she explains. “And even those who supported fracking for economic reasons, many of them were hesitant about what the actual health concerns could be, particularly with water tables and the air, and even the general disruption caused by giant trucks rolling through their communities.”
When she began working on this project, Kasmauski realized how her work has come full circle since her days of volunteer work in Appalachia. “Sadly, it’s not an issue that’s going away,” she says, “and I feel like you have to constantly be dealing with it, talking about it and bringing it forward.”
Kasmauski will be doing just that at this year’s WiLDspeak—A symposium on photography, conservation and communications, November 15 & 16, 2016, at Carnegie Institution for Science, 1530 P Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005.