2015 I Am Duke Environment Spring Photo Contest Winners

Wow! Our spring photo contest received a host of wonderful entries from faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors. The submitted images and their accompanying quotations held powerful stories of hard work and a passion for experiencing, protecting and bettering the planet and its resources — exactly what we at the Nicholas School are all about.

Please join us in congratulating the winners of the Grand Prize iPad and $100.com Amazon gift certificates:

  • 2015 I Am Duke Winner - Schrack

    Liz Schrack
    3rd year PhD, Marine Science and Conservation

    "Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) once formed vast acres of high complexity reef that was critical for small fish and invertebrates on coral reefs. After several coral diseases wiped out nearly 80-90% of their populations throughout the Caribbean, this coral species is listed as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List. Here, I am conducting an experiment on staghorn coral, looking at how predators of this coral might be altering the coral 'microbiome' - or collection of microbial communities on the coral surface. To do this, I’m taking a mucus sample from a coral recently preyed on by a coral-feeding snail with a plastic syringe."

  • 2015 I Am Duke Winner - Semel

    Brandon Semel, B.S. ’13, Environmental Sciences & Evolutionary Anthropology
    Current M.A. candidate in Anthropology at Northern Illinois University

    "Prescribed fire is critical to maintaining open prairie landscapes, promoting new growth, and controlling invasive species. Illinois, though known as "The Prairie State," maintains less than a tenth of a percent of its original grasslands. Volunteering with the Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and private organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy (TNC), provides me with the opportunity to engage in the management and restoration of this once dominant landscape. Sometimes it can get pretty hot!”

  • 2015 I Am Duke Winner - Llewellyn

    Bronwyn Llewellyn, MEM ’06, Conservation Science and Policy
    USAID Environment Officer

    “The whole village of Dhe in remote and magical Upper Mustang- a hidden Kingdom within Nepal- is being forced to move because of climate change, which melts their glacial source of year-round water. To get to Dhe and meet with the community involved a nine hour round-trip journey by hardy Himalayan pony. USAID is working in Nepal to help communities adapt and prepare for climate change, and as the Environment Team Leader, I am responsible for ensuring the projects are technically feasible and are being effective- even if it means a few saddle sores along the way!”

  • 2015 I Am Duke Winner - Sohn

    Nari Sohn, B.S. ’12, Environmental Sciences
    Peace Corps volunteer, Paraguay

    "One of the biggest challenges Paraguay faces is trash management. Trash is often just thrown on the streets or burned, whether it is organic or inorganic. As a Peace Corps volunteer, I started an Eco-Park project as a creative way to promote reuse of recyclable materials. With help of community members, we were able to create a beautiful Eco-Park, using tires, plastic bottles and inorganic trash, for our community center!” 

  • 2015 I Am Duke Winner - Loh

    Donovan Loh, B.A. ’17, Environmental Sciences & Policy
    "The Dry Tortugas are where I conduct the field work for my research and I have absolutely fallen in love with the island. Each day I get to end my day by walking back to an awesome fort, on an amazing beach, to relax and enjoy the sunset.” (photo features Ryan Huang, PhD candidate; Dani Moreira, post-doctoral student; and Kelly Meehan MEM ’16)

The winning photos will also be displayed on the Environment Hall Plasma Screen and in Dukenvironment magazine. Please enjoy perusing these 'photo stories' and more fantastic entries as we slowly release them on the Nicholas School’s website and Facebook page. All entries can also be seen on our Flickr page.

An immense thanks to all our contest participants! Don’t forget to keep your camera ready for future photo contests!