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liannanixon

My grandparents are big birders, they have at least 12 bird feeders, which bring them so much joy. From finches, tanagers, grosbeaks, and orioles, they congregate around these feeding hotspots flinging seeds. Then there are at the hummingbirds, who fill the air with buzzing as they zip to and from their nests and sweet water feeders. Needless to say, my grandparents’ offerings bring so much beauty and joy, it’s hard not to watch them all day!

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Did you know that salmon populations impact the growth of trees? During good salmon seasons when bears bring them onto the river banks and they wash ashore, their nutrients decompose into the ground. This is even correlated to tree ring sizes! When we destroy salmon populations and put them at risk, we are not just risking the lives of the animals who depend on them. We risk losing an entire ecosystem. I am thankful to know that there are so many organizations who are fighting against Pebble Mine, which threatens one the greatest last fisheries on our planet. @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier @ericnixonphoto @kyle.roepke

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Happy Earth Day! Today I am reminded of my time in Svalbard and listening to stories of locals describing how climate change has impacted the nature in this fragile place. They have had red clouds of pollution hailing from places around the world, the receding of glaciers, and thinning of annual sea ice, all of which has taken a toll on wildlife and people. But they are all hopeful that we as a species have the ability to reverse climate change and look towards a sustainable green future. Because we can make a change to better ourselves and our planet. Hearing these stories and having these experiences wouldn’t be possible without the many environmental heroes I’ve had in my life. Thank you to those who celebrate Earth Day each and every day. Whether you recycle and have sustainable consumer choices, participate in green policy makers, educate others, or are at the frontlines fighting against unsustainable climate regimes, we are moving in the right direction. #earthday

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Today I just Officially accepted a position with MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary Observatory drifting for the Study of Arctic Climate), as a media expert to help support them in filming a documentary about the Arctic and the importance of scientific research for the next year. I am beyond grateful and excited for this opportunity and looking forward to what we create!

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It is difficult to describe how small and vulnerable I feel when visiting the Arctic. On our 45 m (135 ft) ship, we were dwarfed by the Arctic tundra and at the mercy of the elements. It’s humbling to have this feeling and truly grasp that there are much bigger things and places at work beyond our daily lives, that we need to look at the bigger picture as citizens of our planet.

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Odin is one of the many sled dogs you may meet up in Svalbard. As we went to his home, we saw seven dog sleds taking people around the scenic views outside of Longyearbyen, distance barks and voices filled the air. There were rows of small dog houses, lifted above above the snow where where each dog would call home. Odin heard our voices and he slowly came out of his home in search of love and cuddles. His eyes were super captivating and he was so sweet, he definitely was one my favorite encounters that day (but don’t the others! Haha)

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On the way to Tempelfjorden we spotted this walrus on a floating piece of ice, just hanging out. We sat there watching him, submerging under the water and bobbing around broken pieces of ice to check us out.

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What was perhaps my favorite part about being onboard the Freya exploring the Svalbard Fjords was going through the ice. In March, ice from various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses covered the water’s surface. The Freya would just glide through it, pushing ice to the side as she broke her trail. It was captivating seeing our trail behind us, where we have been!

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“A halo is a good sign for a good expedition, that’s what the sailors believed” said Silje, our good friend and a true local of Longyearbyen, Svalbard. These halos don’t occur often, only when ice crystals are present in the atmosphere brought by thin cirrus clouds drifting high in the skies. Returning back to the Arctic was everything I hoped it would be. To see the vast landscapes and the sun hang low above the horizon left me in awe, invoking an even deeper love and respect for this harsh but very fragile part of the world. I guess the myth truly does hold its validity!

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Made it back to Longyearbyen and got to visit some new friends with @melissa_schaefer and @fredgranath Needless to say it’s been an amazing first day, especially when you get to play with puppies and pet the cutest sledding dogs around!! 📸 @melissa_schaefer and @fredgranath

liannanixon

Often when we think of spotted hyenas we perceive them as villainous deviant creatures (thinking of the lion king and Hemingway’s dislike of them). They are in fact fascinating and highly intelligent animals. They are run by a matriarch, who trumps the size and aggression of any male. Their whoops, cackles and laughs are their ways of communicating pack status and hunting. They are fascinating to photograph, let alone watch. It is one of my goals in photography is to capture how fantastic all animals truly are!

liannanixon

Thinking about how we interact with our spaces today... how powerful are we to be able to energize or mute our place with our state of being? We have the ability to impact others when sharing a space, emotionally and physically. These ideas of space are important when we want to address issues that seek collective action. Whether it’s climate change, indigenous empowerment, feminism, etc., the space in which we provide is essential to ensure that our message, what we want to say, is clear. What kind of spaces or ways to fill the space are most effective to/for you? Photo: Arapaho Powwow Dancer empowering his space with strength and power.

liannanixon

In December I saw a group of six bull moose outside of Kelly. As they grazed on bitterbushes they began to move closer to our cars to lick salt off the roads. At this point all six of them were on the road, surrounding parked cars, pushing each other to keep moving. This photo was of my favorite bull in the group, who had a much calmer demeanor than his grumpy companions (one of them charged a car that was next to us). He followed his buddies, calmly maneuvering around the stopped cars, and continued on his way!

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Before I left BC, I had an amazing opportunity to visit Victoria with some amazing people! We found in strutting in a park, his feathers raised dancing for some females close by. To see them in person was beautiful and quite comical!

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Happy #worldwhaleday! Throughout my life whales have been a symbol of healthy and happy ecosystems. They are creatures we can all fall in love with, especially when we encounter their beauty and power in person. Seeing this mother humpback breach with her calf was incredible, a memory I will never forget 💙

liannanixon

Happy Valentines Day to you! Hope today, and every day, is filled with love and happiness, like this bear couple from Hallo Bay at @katmainpp!

liannanixon

In December, I decided to look for moose in the Antelope Plains and stumbled upon two young males eating aquatic plants in a river. In the summer, you don’t see bull moose congregate together, they are usually are solitary animals. During the winters in Jackson Hole, however, moose leave the comforts of the vast mountains and marshes for the small valley plains. They graze on the abundant bitterbushes and lick salt from the roads. You can find male moose congregating together, sharing the habitat and protecting one and another. Seeing this behavior truly changes the way you see a species!

liannanixon

During high tide we were boating near Geographic Bay of @katmainpp in search for wildlife. A storm was rolling in and the dark clouds began to envelop the landscape. I just remember breathing in the cold air and being mesmerized by the jagged mountains, lush forests, and waterfalls. It was a moment when I was realized I was in true wilderness. What is true wilderness to you?

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Photo by @hackattackit// I am helping @vocal_empowerment on their mission to ensure girls have the power to change the world by exercising their civic voices! This NPO creates tools for mentors, teachers, and community leaders to work with women across the globe by harnessing art and project-based learning. I am helping to make girls heard. Can you help us #speakup? Post a photo using the hashtag #speakup and tag me ( @liannanixon) and @vocal_empowerment to get a feature and follow on what vocal empowerment is to you.

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The graduate work I’m pursuing often asks a lot of tough questions about the realities of the American Education system and the environment. As an educator, I have thought a lot about how we approach the various issues of environmental justice and climate change, and it’s daunting. At times, you feel like drowning in all the problems we face, how we can engage in sustainability education when there are so many other challenges we need to take on. The work piles up! But then there are moments where you meet and work with inspirational people fighting to create change. Where you see youth facing these issues head on. Where we are making progress, no matter how small. Those are the moments that motivate my pursuit to fight climate change! Together, we can, and will, save our planet.

liannanixon

A gorilla lays down after a bout of wrestling with members in his troop and eating vegetation. Tired from his afternoon agenda, he looks up from the jungle floor completely content. A perfect day 💚 Did you have a moment like this this week?

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Found this photo from a loooonnnggggg time ago. I went to the Galapagos with my family when I was 14 (10 years ago, wow!) I was astounded by the wildness of the islands and fascinated by the diversity of wildlife you would see. The colors of the Sally Lightfoot crab were so captivating, I took way too many photos of them. Just makes me smile to see content from a while ago, before I really knew what I was doing with my camera and all the adventures I had in store ❤️

liannanixon

It’s been a fun ride! Happy New Year! May your 2019 be filled with much joy, health, and adventure!

liannanixon

My dad is pretty cool 😎 @ericnixonphoto

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Shana Tova! This year, though has gone by awfully fast, was quite an adventure! I am grateful to have been to incredible places, surrounded by fantastic people, and the opportunities this new year will bring. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy new year!

liannanixon

Back at home base! Crazy to think that grad school is just around the corner. Exciting to be in such a wonderful place getting my Master’s of Education in Learning Sciences and Human Development. #skobuffs #boulder #education #mastersdegree

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Happy #nationalrelaxationday This adorable baby gorilla was sound asleep on the jungle floor, surrounded by his troop, siblings, and parents after playing. This truly is the face of relaxation, peace, and content.

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It took three hours trekking through the dense jungle of mountainous Rwanda to visit this gorilla and their troop. On the way up, our rangers had rifles to scare away buffalo. We crossed over elephant tracks who were only a short distance away. We were told that the troop moved, after an hour and a half of hiking, and we had to trek for much longer. The air was hot and smelled humid. The sounds of birds chirping, bugs buzzing, and crunching branches under our feet. Rays of light peered through the Hagenia Abyssinicia trees. All of this lead up to finally seeing this beautiful troop, to photograph for the first time these amazing animals. Gorillas are so personable, so like us.... It was enlightening to photograph them. It made our long trek even more beautiful, each step with purpose, a journey worth taking a million times over.

liannanixon

Happy #sharkweek everyone!! Two years was the first time I encountered whale sharks at Isla Mujeres. They are the largest fish on the planet, growing up to 46 ft in length, and some of the most docile animals to get in the water with. I was so excited to be in the water with these guys... they are some of the most personable fish I’ve ever got in the water with! Whale sharks have become huge contributors to the ecotourism industries in Mexico, Belize, and other areas on the globe. Their value in marine ecosystems and ecotourism is incredibly valuable... and this goes for sharks species all over the world. A ecosystem with stable populations of sharks means its a healthy ecosystem. Needless to say, sharks are important!!! So cheers to sharks, the amazing creatures of our oceans! Here’s to protecting the animals that keep our ecosystems healthy and provide ecotourism for societies to sustain themselves!

liannanixon

Heading home to the Boulder Flatirons! The past five years of my life have been defined by these mountains. Growing up in Chicago and finally living out in the mountains is still a blessing, I couldn’t believe that I got to live here... I still can’t believe I do! To see mountains every day, their power and grace, always had me in awe. Excited to call this place my home and see where the next adventures will take me!!

liannanixon

Looking genuinely confused while figuring out a time lapse shot 😂 **************************************************** 📸 @dylanwineland **************************************************** #confused #candid #jennylake #jacksonhole #tetonnationalpark #grandtetons #landscape #ac #adventure #outdoors

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Beauty in Black and White We came across this young female on a beach “practice mating” with a massive boar. She’s probably two or three years old, definitely not sexually mature. Grizzlies are not mature until they are 4 or 5, and can have up to 10 cubs throughout their lifetime. Perhaps next year we may cross paths again, maybe she’ll even be pregnant with some cubs, what a beautiful young mother she will be! With @sea_legacy #turningthetide

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A wolf looks up after digging for clams in the rain. He scans the horizon looking for his companion, who scurried off into the dense brush. It amazes me to see wolves who depend on the bounties of the ocean rather than the wolf packs in Yellowstone I am familiar with... to see their social and habitual behavioral differences are incredible. We spent an hour with him, watching him closely sniff the ground and carefully dig up his delicious reward! It is always an honor to see such beautiful animals and their resilience in the last final frontier, Alaska. With @sea_legacy @paulnicklen @cristinamittermeier @ericnixonphoto

LiannaNixon

Happy birthday #america, the land of the free and home of the brave! Hope everyone has an incredible #fourthofjuly!

LiannaNixon

Yet another unreal trip to @katmainps to see the great Alaska grizzlies. The team and I were lucky to see this tender moment between a male pursuing this small female. Perhaps I’m a romantic because I swear that the male bear is smiling, perhaps even realizing how truly precious and fleeting this moment is. Love appears in all forms, within all beings. Like these beautiful grizzlies I hope that we all aspire to live in a world filled with love and kindness. With @cristinamittermeier @ericnixonphoto @paulnicklen @lewkix @kyle.roepke @sea_legacy

LiannaNixon

So excited to be returning to Hallo Bay in @katmainps with the @sea_legacy team. Could not be more elated to return to a land of epic landscapes and beautiful mother grizzlies with their cubs. Pictured here is one of the cubs I saw at Hallo Bay. My group and I were the first human encounter with this cub, they were so curious they kept popping up from the tall grass to look at us! Hoping to see a special encounter like this again. Keep following the @sea_legacy team to see how truly amazing this place is. With @cristinamittermeier @paulnicklen @ericnixonphoto @kyle.roepke

LiannaNixon

Today on world oceans day I cannot help but think about how impacted each person is by our oceans, no matter where we live. Every other breath we take is a product of the ocean’s oxygen. Cultures, economies, and homes are impacted by the health of our seas. So much wildlife depends on ocean abundance. From sea to sky, the foundation of life comes from the oceans. We must cherish and protect them, so they can continue to be a healthy and abundant foundation of life. #worldoceansday

LiannaNixon

The next two weeks are crazy with traveling! Seattle ➡️ Salt Lake City ➡️ Denver ➡️ Chicago ➡️ Salt Lake City ➡️ Jackson Hole, WY. Looking forward to the chaos and finally making it back to Wyoming! Keep following me to find out why I’m going to all of these places! Photo of the Tetons 💙

LiannaNixon

Happy #mothersday to all of the strong wonderful mothers out! Thank you for all that you do.... I especially want to wish our Mother Earth a happy mother’s day, for without all mothers, we would be lost without them!

LiannaNixon

Happy earth day! On this earth day, I hope you join me in my pledge to protect our wildlife and ecosystems. Whether it is refusing single use plastics, making sustainable consumer choices, supporting green initiatives, or raising awareness, we need to all work collectively to help our planet. We only have one earth, and we must treat it with kindness, compassion and respect. Photographed here is a mother gorilla with her baby. You may not be able to tell, but her left hand was ripped off by a snare, yet she still has overcome this event and will teach her baby how to overcome adversities and survive in the Rwandan jungle. #turningthetide with @sea_legacy

LiannaNixon

Playing around with black and white... thoughts? The first time I ever got in the water with humpback whales, I was very lucky to have this encounter. This calf was coming up for air after resting at the ocean floor with its mother and decided to come check me out! This encounter will always remind me that we are not the only species who are curious, insightful, and have a drive to observe the world around us.

LiannaNixon

“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – JRR Tolkien Exploring Vancouver Island has been quite the adventure that has swept me off my feet!

LiannaNixon

Kind eyes. One of the most wonderful things about photographing gorillas is to see their emotions reflected back at you. I was crouching by some bamboo trees when she appeared and quietly sat two feet away from me watching me interact with the rest of her troop. She looked content and patient... what beauty and serenity she embodies. How could anyone harm a creature who has such compassion and intelligence? #turningtheitde with @sea_legacy