2012 ISTF Photo Contest

2012 ISTF Photo Contest

Male purple-throated carib feeding at a Heliconia bihai on the island of Dominica-Geoff Giller

Quichuan girls in the community of Pavacachi, near Rio Curaray, Amazon River basin, eastern Ecuador-Leah Butler

Every day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls. And then the sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light. Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862).

A curious clownfish unveils the curtains of tentacles that sway to and fro and peers out from amidst its anemone shelter, a woman lunches under the protection of her cone-shaped hat and respites on a floating boat, indigenous men clad in their costumes are ready for a photo session, the sky turns into a mosaic of colors of red and golden as if a ball of fire crossed its path of blue.

Each of the 98 pictures tell the story of the students who are studying at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies as they did in the past and during the years prior to that.  These are the stories of adventurous professional lives before being FES students, and of serendipitous encounters while doing summer research as FES students.  Every picture is a reminder of memories that the students wish to retain forever and stories that they would like to share with others.

Some things never change. A good example is the ISTF photo contest that is organized as part of the annual ISTF conference. Not surprisingly, the theme revolves around the tropical areas and people, animals, birds, plants and landscapes that reflect the tropics. During the photo contest this year, we had 33 student participants who submitted their pictures. These pictures represented 6 different islands and 26 different countries. The diverse theme in the photos make this contest one of the favorite parts of the conference. This year, the pictures reflected animal behavior, plant-animal interactions, indigenous communities, humans working in conjunction with animals and with nature, different cultures and landscapes. The students voted for the top 16 pictures that were displayed throughout the conference. While their presence will always shine in the basement of the Kroon Computer lab until the next conference, the remaining 82 pictures will remain on the facebook page, 2012 ISTF Photo Contest, to tell their stories to all Yale ISTF facebook page friends. So if you want to know the story, and if you have a facebook account, please become friends with Yale ISTF.