AUSTIN SCHUVER is an award-winning photographer, writer, and researcher. He has worked with conservation nonprofits for 10 years including one he founded in his hometown in Washington. His creative work chronicles natural history and examines the politics of human ecology—our relationships with nature.
In 2020, Austin is preparing for master’s work in resource conservation at the University of Montana. He will focus on natural resources conflict resolution and climate change communication in the interdisciplinary nexus of food, energy, and water systems.
He studied writing, natural sciences, and conservation at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, next door to Acadia National Park. In Maine, he worked in College of the Atlantic’s Writing Center, tested water quality in remote lakes, researched birds on an offshore island, and led community engagement for a nonprofit land trust.
His stories and photographs have been published in Maine Today, Ellsworth American, Mount Desert Islander, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, New Day Northwest and the newsletters and online media of numerous nonprofit organizations.
He grew up in Enumclaw, Washington, and enjoys spending time with family in Oregon. Hobbies include baking sourdough, birding, reading, and running.
Awards, Exhibitions, & Presentations
- 2020 – Research: University of Montana BRIDGES fellow
- 2020 – Research: Natural Resources Social Science Apprentice, Sierra Institute
- 2019 – Photography: Choco-Latte Cafe, Bar Harbor, ME (Solo)
- 2019 – Teaching: “Woods and Waters of Lamoine” Guided Group Tour
- 2018 – Photography: Exploration Center at Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Hancock, ME
- 2017 – Research: Maine Space Grant “Surveying Breeding Passerines of Great Duck Island”
- Teaching: Human Ecology Forum Lecture, “Creating Positive Environmental Change,” College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME
- Research: Hartzog-Kauffman Endowment Award
- Photography: Dorr Museum of Natural History, Bar Harbor, ME
- Washington State Honors Award
- President’s Volunteer Service Award
- Photography: “Shared Experiences” City Hall Gallery, Enumclaw, WA (Solo)
- Photography: Spectrum Creative Alliance Gallery, Enumclaw, WA
- Photography: Arts Alive! Gallery, Enumclaw, WA
- Photography: Washington State Fair, Puyallup, WA
- The Gloria Barron Prize Finalist
- Prudential Spirit of Community Bronze Award
Freelance photography, writing, design, and guiding
Artist Statement (Photography, 2017)
As long as I can remember I have loved nature.
My mother recalls three-year-old Austin rescuing earthworms from puddles after rainstorms and running around the house turning off lights to “save the penguins.” Before elementary school, documentaries featuring lion prides and herds of giraffe made me dream of becoming a world-traveling wildlife photographer.
As a teenager, I led my parents on a grand summer vacation visiting national parks in Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, California, and Oregon. I’ll always remember how I felt exploring Yellowstone National Park for the first time—like every footstep deserved to be placed with a gentleness and respect for hallowed ground.
The desire to be involved with nature has always stuck with me, and my personal and professional goal in life is to protect the natural world.
The inspiration for my photographs comes from being in nature. Observing nature brings me peace, cultivates patience, and stimulates positivity.
Because each piece of nature is inherently beautiful—the colors of a songbird’s feathers, the textures of burgeoning clouds, or the glimmering morning light off the ocean—a kind of nature photography that seeks not to take away from these natural elements, but to simply emphasize their beauty and combine it with stories that inspire understanding, love, and action—that’s the kind of nature photography that can change the world.
Photography can capture the natural environment unlike anything else, preserving moments with more precision and detail than other media. In both a fortunate and unfortunate sense, photographing life’s intricate wonders is especially important in a rapidly changing world.
Within digital photography I challenge myself both technically and artistically, with time-lapse, super macro, telephoto, panoramas, digital infrared, and more—techniques that allow me to find new and dynamic ways to present my experiences to the viewer while always seeking to provide truthful and ethical representations of my subjects.