Paul Nicklen

A unique childhood among the Inuit in Canada’s Arctic and a professional background as a biologist in the Northwest Territories gave Paul Nicklen the tools he needed to take on the most inhospitable places on our planet. Whether ice diving among leopard seals in Antarctica or covering hundreds of miles of terrain in minus 40°F temperatures, Paul has specialized in photographing polar regions since 1995. His images reflect a reverence for the creatures inhabiting such isolated and endangered environments, and he hopes to generate global awareness about wildlife issues through his work. Outdoor Photography Magazine voted him one of the 40 most influential nature photographers.

Paul has published over 20 stories for National Geographic magazine, mostly recently “Where Wildlife is in Charge” in the February 2018 issue. His latest book, Born to Ice, was published by TeNeues in September 2018. He has received more than 30 of the highest awards given to any photographer in his field, including the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the prestigious World Press Photo award for photojournalism. His TED2011 talk, as well as appearances on television shows such as Jeopardy and in YouTube videos, have thrust him into the popular culture spotlight.

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I call myself an interpreter and a translator. I translate what the scientists are telling me. If we lose ice, we stand to lose an entire ecosystem. I hope we can realize through my photography how interconnected many species are to ice.

He is a co-founder of the non-profit SeaLegacy, which raises awareness about ocean conservation. Through visual storytelling, SeaLegacy inspires millions of people to stand up for the pristine places threatened by climate change.

When not battling sub-zero temperatures, Paul makes his home on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, with fellow National Geographic photographer Cristina Mittermeier.

Find out about upcoming programs and expeditions with National Geographic photographers, or view more work by Paul Nicklen.