Megan Westervelt Tells Unique Environmental Stories Through Still Images

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Megan Westervelt left graduate school with some experience under her belt and some uniquely creative ideas in her head about how she could capture environmental photos.

She labels herself a Conservation Photojournalist which means she tells stories with her still and video cameras about human impact on the environment.

While still in school, she did an in-depth story on exotic animal ownership in Ohio and photo story about human interaction with the coastal environment of oil rich eastern Scotland.

Upon graduation she packed her bags and headed to Ecuador. Her first project was to document the lives of local artisan women in Loja Province and their battle with a parasitic disease called Chagas disease. The women sell their unique artwork to pay for a battle against the disease decimating their population. Westervelt captured that battle on film.

Her second project was working in the Yasuni National Park in the Amazonian portion of Ecuador to create a museum exhibition about biodiversity and some of the traditional cultures of the region.

Specifically, Westervelt concentrated on one group of people who have their own indigenous language and who, most assuredly, are not part of modern life. These people have their own traditions and their own unique way of life that spurns modern conveniences.

Not only did Westervelt capture their culture herself but she put cameras in the hands of 50 of the local residents. She taught them how to take pictures and the group, itself, added to the photo array depicting an almost extinct culture. They created their own photo history.

Their photos were displayed at a major showing in their home country of Ecuador. And, most recently, this photo exhibition was displayed at the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University – where Westervelt got her graduate degree in Visual Communication.

To see Westervelt’s pictures go to