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Week of February 4, 2013

Award-winning Arctic photographer presents program

In the Arctic, it’s a struggle to stay warm. Eating and drinking are work-intensive activities. Polar bears are up to 9 feet tall and dangerous.

But reds and oranges shoot off the snowy landscape at sunrise. In spring, the tundra turns to pastels or lush green. In the night sky, reds and greens pulsate during the aurora borealis.

“It’s quite a magical landscape. There are myriads of birds who come to nest there, geese and shore birds. You still have these amazing caribou herds, during their annual migrations,” Florian Schulz says.

He is a wildlife photographer behind the book “To The Arctic,” the official companion book to the IMAX film of the same name. Schulz will give a multimedia presentation of his work at 5:10 p.m. Thursday in the Dana Building, Room 1040. It will include his photos, stories and video from the Arctic. The presentation is free and open to the public.

“I have always been driven by a tremendous passion for wild places,” Schulz says of his work in conservation photography. He says books by Jack London inspired him as a boy in Germany. Encountering polar bears provokes “a mix of adrenalin and excitement,” Schulz says.

To get great photos of polar bears requires camping on the ice in their habitat, with one person always on guard with a rifle. Temperatures are as low as minus 40 degrees. “In those situations many things can go wrong. If you press your nose against the metal of the camera it can stick. A big part of the day is just melting ice and snow for water,” Schulz says.

He is a frequent lecturer on photography and conservation topics in both North America and Europe. Schulz also is the youngest founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Schulz, who has spent 18 months in the Arctic, mostly over the last five years, will also present workshops to students. “I want to show students what’s possible if they develop a passion and where it can lead to,” he says.

The presentation is hosted by Program in the Environment, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences in LSA.

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