Posted in biology, education, electronic imaging and displays

National Geographic Photo Camp

This is what I want to do when I grow up!

National Geographic, along with several other organizations, has been putting on photo camps throughout North America for kids this past summer to learn about science, nature, and their environment through photography. The different camps have explored urban environments, the Santa Monica mountains, and even cultural land-use issues. The best shots from all the different camps can be viewed on the website. The photos are amazing, and some of the photos make aptly appropriate statements about the environment or other social issues, possibly without the kids even consciously realizing it.

This method of teaching science to students with the aid of photography is a very successful way for kids to learn about science and their environment, and learn how to be scientists. There are even kindergarten classes who have done similar projects as part of their curriculum.

This can also be an effective method for grown-up scientists. Mary Edwards is a salmon biologist in Oregon who takes pictures of the salmon not only to document their behavior, but also for beauty and aesthetic purposes. You can read or listen to an interview of her from NPR.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.