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National Geographic photographer to speak in Fairbanks

Submitted by Charles Mason
Phone: 907-474-6217


Photo caption below.
Photo courtesy UAF journalism department
Joel Sartore

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Joel Sartore has watched polar bears feast on a whale carcass in Barrow. He has also been chased by wild rodeo horses, stalked by wolves and bitten by a diseased sand fly. It's all in a day's work.

As a National Geographic Magazine photographer for more than 15 years, Sartore has witnessed some of the world's most dramatic moments--and he has the stories to prove it. On Monday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m., he brings those stories to Schaible Auditorium on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus in a talk, "Grounded: A Reflection on the Use of Life and Land." The event is free and open to the public.

Working for the magazine is the "hardest job you can imagine," Sartore said in a 2006 documentary about his work. "I work in some of the most amazing and miserable places on face of the earth. And the pressure is always there to produce pictures--pictures worthy of publication in the world's greatest magazine."

The Nebraska native travels almost constantly, from Alaska to the Amazon. He is sometimes away from his wife, Kathy, and children for weeks at a time. But when Kathy was diagnosed with breast cancer, Sartore knew it was time to stay home. His wife's illness, Sartore says, triggered a reconnection with his family and with the reason he takes pictures: to show people that wild places and Earth's creatures need and deserve protection.

Besides National Geographic, Sartore has completed assignments for Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and many book projects. He has been the subject of national broadcasts including the NBC Nightly News, NPR's Weekend Edition and an hour-long PBS documentary. His visit to Fairbanks is made possible by the UAF journalism department's Snedden Endowed Chair of Journalism, established by Helen Snedden in honor of her late husband, former Fairbanks Daily News-Miner publisher C.W. Snedden. Since its establishment, the chair has allowed the UAF journalism department to bring a series of nationally known journalists to Fairbanks to speak to students, local journalists and the public.

CONTACT: Charles Mason, UAF journalism department chairman, at 907-474-6217.