Bridging Art and Photography in the California Desert
David Lamfrom knows the power that humans have to protect nature, and that’s one of the reasons he works for the National Parks Conservation Association. But he also firmly believes that people need wildlife and wilderness as much as nature needs us. In his words, “Learning about the natural world is therapeutic – it provides opportunities for intellectual stimulation, nature study, exercise, exploration, creativity, and the chance to develop self-reliance and self-worth.” These opportunities, he says, should be available to all, but growing up in an urban area, he didn’t get to spend time in nature as a child. David’s personal mission is to help ensure that all young people are given the opportunity to experience the power of the wild.
As the former California Desert Field Representative for the National Parks Conservation Association, David was responsible for community organizing and leading grassroots environmental action for the protection and conservation of National Parks and Natural Historic Places. He currently serves as the California Desert Senior Program Manager. David is also a student of art and ecology, and is a published wildlife photographer and author.
For his Toyota TogetherGreen Conservation Fellowship, David provided opportunities for young southern Californians to experience the California Desert – its biological diversity, and its cultural, natural and historical importance. Bridging the arts and sciences, David provided participants in his project, Tortoises Through the Lense, with ecological and photographic training focused on the endangered Desert Tortoise. Together, participants created a photobook about the tortoise, an increasingly rare icon of the American Southwest. Proceeds from the photobook were used to support further Desert Tortoise conservation action.