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Paul and Cristina Lucie Award
Thought Leader: Paul Nicklen
July 1, 2022

Paul Nicklen Biography 

Paul Nicklen is a Canadian photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist who has documented the beauty and plight of our planet for over thirty years.

His unique expertise in documentary photography allows him to create an emotional connection with wild subjects in extreme conditions, delivering audiences to an underwater realm witnessed by few.
Nicklen pursued his education at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, where he studied marine biology.

In the early 1990s, Paul Nicklen’s career took an exciting turn when he joined the ranks of National Geographic as a staff photographer.

In 2014, he co-founded SeaLegacy, a global conservation, education, and communication agency for the ocean.

His sensitive and evocative imagery has garnered over 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 for Photojournalism.

In 2019, Mr Nicklen became the youngest person inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame (IPHF). That same year,  his alma mater, the University of Victoria, bestowed an honorary PhD on him for his lifelong efforts to use photography in the campaign against climate change.
In 2022, he received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, from Simon Fraser University.
Paul Nicklen’s life and work serve as a testament to the transformative power of photography and the urgent need to preserve our planet’s natural wonders. Through his breathtaking imagery and tireless efforts, he continues to educate and inspire millions worldwide, reminding us of the beauty and vulnerability of our fragile Earth.


Photo by Ben Moon

Cristina Mittermeier Biography 

World-renowned conservationist and photographer Cristina “Mitty” Mittermeier believes that stunning visual storytelling is the key to unlocking critical action to help heal our ocean and save our planet. Mittermeier pursued an early passion for marine biology, obtaining a degree from the Universidad Autónoma de México, and embarked on countless expeditions to study and document marine ecosystems worldwide. During these journeys, Mittermeier witnessed the alarming decline of our oceans due to overfishing, pollution, and climate change.

In 2005, she founded The International League of Conservation Photographers, coining the phrase “conservation photography.”

In 2014, he co-founded SeaLegacy, a global conservation, education, and communication agency for the ocean.

Driven by a desire to make a difference, Mittermeier recognizes the transformative potential of photography as a means to raise awareness and inspire action.

She is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award and the Imaging Award for Photographers Who Give Back. In 2021, she received the Seattle Aquarium’s Sylvia Earle Medal and Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award. She was named one of the 100 Latinos Most Committed to Climate Action and has been named one of the World’s Top 50 Keynote Speakers.

In 2022, Mittermeier received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, honoris causa, from Simon Fraser University.

Mittermeier’s body of work spans all seven continents, showcasing breathtaking landscapes, endangered wildlife, and the connection between indigenous communities and their natural surroundings. Mittermeier’s legacy is a powerful reminder that we can safeguard our oceans through storytelling and collective action for future generations.

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