decorative image of 0921-Wildlife_s445g1 , Conservation photographer to speak at PSC Thursday, Sept. 22 2017-01-17 14:22:36 Published: 09-21-2016

Pensacola News Journal, Joseph Baucum, jbaucum@pnj.com

After traversing thousands of miles in Florida since 2012 to capture the stories and images of the state’s wildlife, nationally recognized conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr. will visit Pensacola this week to share his work.

Ward will present a series of photographs and videos on protecting and restoring state lands and waterways at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Pensacola State College. The presentation, organized by the Pensacola trustees of the Florida House On Capitol Hill, is free and open to the public. It will take place at the college’s Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts.

Ward will detail the efforts of the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a conservation advocacy organization he founded. The centerpiece of the organization’s work is the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expeditions.

The expeditions involved Ward and others with the organization conducting two 1,000-mile expeditions of Florida. Their goal was to document the state’s wildlife and watersheds through photography, video and social media updates. The first trek was in 2012 and spanned from the Everglades to the Okeefenokee Swamp. The second journey in 2015 included Pensacola and went from just outside Orlando to Alabama.

“It’s a chance to discover the wild Florida that is often hiding in plain sight in our own backyards,” he said.

Ward will present photographs, two video clips and a trailer for “The Forgotten Coast,” a documentary of the 2015 expedition. The film already aired in the Tampa Bay region and will be available on PBS stations next year.

The presentation’s subject matter will also include Florida cowboys, black bears and oystermen.

“We have these amazing natural resources that may not be as obvious as the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, but they’re there and they’re no less impressive,” Ward said.

The Pensacola trustees of the Florida House On Capitol Hill helped set up the presentation. Florida House Director Bart G. Hudson will introduce Ward at the college.

Suellen Hudson, a trustee who helped organize the event, said, “It’s going to be an eye-opener. It was for me.”

Florida House On Capitol Hill is a privately owned nonprofit in Washington, D.C. It provides meeting, classroom and reception space for Floridians and others visiting the nation’s capital.

Ward became a National Geographic Explorer, a grant recipient of the National Geographic Society, in 2012. He has published two books, “The Edge of Africa” and “Florida Cowboys.” He was honored by the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida with the Conservation Leadership Award in 2015.

Want to go?

What: A presentation by conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr., organized by the Pensacola trustees of the Florida House On Capitol Hill

When: 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22

Where: Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts at Pensacola State College

Cost: Free