Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I've had a lifelong passion for birds and the outdoors. I took up photography in 2007 to document a family road trip to Yellowstone. I studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University ('14), focusing my research on the long-distance migratory ecology of a shorebird — the Whimbrel — and I'm currently working in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Multimedia Production group.
During my time as a student, I had the good fortune to not only study shorebirds' movements across hemispheres, but also to see firsthand — in China, Chile, Churchill, and Colombia — their unique capacity to connect people across the globe. In this, I found a new passion for the art of video production as a tool for sharing an appreciation for the environment and its preservation — through stories of research, education, and connectivity. Birds were my gateway to a love of wilderness, and while they remain a vibrant and varied medium for telling the stories of their ecosystems, they are only a sliver of the communities and landscapes they inhabit. As such, I'm excited at opportunities to tell broader stories that connect the networks of people and ecosystems they rely on.
I hope you enjoy the work here, or find it useful. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or inquiries.
A brief statement of purpose: As one of countless young, conservation-focused photographers riding a wave of possibilities brought about by the advent of digital technologies, I hope to find overarching focus and meaning in these basic concepts:
1) Wherever PEOPLE are a problem, PEOPLE must (and can) be a solution.
2) Finding constructive compromise and shared interest between people who society says must disagree is paramount, practical, and possible.
3) Birds are a unique lens into the natural world — its fragility, resilience, ingenuity, majesty — but as lenses, they're much more powerful when seen through a wide perspective.
For a searchable photographic archive, see: flickr.com/photos/andysbirds
Above photo © Gerrit Vyn, gerritvynphoto.com