ExplorersBio

Carlton Ward Jr.

Conservation Photographer

Conservation Trust Grant

Photo: Carlton Ward in Florida Everglades

Photograph courtesy Carlton Ward

Carlton Ward Jr. is a conservation photographer from Tampa, Florida. His passion for nature was born from the Florida landscape, where eight generations of family history have grounded his perspective. He sees natural environments and cultural legacies as the earth’s greatest yet most threatened resources. For his first book, The Edge of Africa, Ward spent eight months in the tropical rain forests of Gabon with the Smithsonian Institution documenting the region’s unseen and undiscovered biological diversity.  The photographs were exhibited in Gabon, London and at a United Nations reception in New York. Ward’s work documenting endangered desert elephants in Mali was on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine and comprised a chapter in the National Geographic book, Great Migrations.

Ward is a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and founded the Legacy Institute for Nature & Culture (LINC), a non-profit organization with the purpose of celebrating and protecting Florida’s natural and cultural heritage through art. While completing a Master’s degree in Ecology, Ward wrote Conservation Photography, the first thesis on the emerging field. His 2009 Book, Florida Cowboys, won a silver medal in the Florida Book Awards and for that work Popular Photography Magazine featured him as one of three photographers working to save vanishing America.

Ward’s current focus is the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a public awareness initiative he established in 2009. In 2012, he co-led the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition – a 100 day, 1000 mile trek that explored the last remaining natural path through the length of the Florida peninsula. The expedition began in Everglades National Park in January and reached the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Georgia on Earth Day, April 22. National Geographic Explorer Michael Fay joined the journey for the final week. The Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition story will be released as national PBS film to in January 2013.

Right now, Ward is continuing to photograph within the Florida Wildlife Corridor, concentrating on private ranches in the Northern Everglades that are candidates for protection through the new Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area, proposed expansion of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and proposed creation of a new Refuge and Conservation Area near Fisheating Creek.

Ward’s photographs are featured in magazines including Audubon, Smithsonian, Geo, Nature Conservancy, and National Wildlife. Limited-edition prints are exhibited in galleries and museums and available through CarltonWard.com.

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But can we control ourselves? Can we set limits to our encroachment? With hundreds of people moving to Florida each day, can we make sure that the Nature that brought most of us here will somehow remain?

—Carlton Ward

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