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Stetson University Photography Exhibit Features Conservationists Making a Positive Impact on Environment

Dustin Angell is an environmental educator and conservation photographer at the Archbold Biological Station.

Preserving animal and plant species ensures the existence of native habitats and allows future generations to enjoy nature and its resources for years to come.

Steffan Pierre is an environmental specialist at the Archbold Biological Station and one of the featured “Florida Stewards.” Photo by Dustin Angell

Archbold Biological Station environmental educator and conservation photographer Dustin Angell will be displaying 20 large-format photos that highlight conservationists who are working to protect the wildlife and ecosystems of Florida, including biologists, land managers, artists and others during his “Florida Stewards” exhibit at the Rinker Environmental Learning Center’s environmental gallery, 230 E. Michigan Ave., DeLand, 32723. The building is adjacent to the Gillespie Museum on Stetson University’s campus.

Guests will have a chance to learn more about the exhibit during a free opening-night reception and gallery talk by Angell on Thursday, Jan. 16, 6-8 p.m. The display runs through Friday, March 13.

“My goal is to put these photos to work and for viewers to feel inspired by the stewards in the photos as well as become more engaged in conservation themselves,” said Angell. “I also want viewers to seek first-hand knowledge of the environment, not just from scientific articles and lectures, but through experiences with the land.”

Angell, who has a BFA from Alfred University, builds community relationships and interprets ecological research for audiences of all ages in his environmental educator role at the Archbold Biological Station in Venus, Florida, which is near the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area.

He began taking his camera to work to document educational outreach and ecological research after he moved to Venus from Syracuse, New York, seven years ago. Conservation photography became his passion and life purpose, which led to him participating in photography shows and creating a photo essay on Florida grasshopper sparrows that was published in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s spring 2017 issue of Living Bird Magazine.

He presented slides on his conservation photography during a successful Science Café at the Gillespie Museum in spring 2019 and has been invited back to exhibit his inspirational photographs.

“Working at the Archbold Biological Station is like having a ringside seat to the best show in Florida,” said Angell. “I don’t mean all of the wonderful encounters with nature, but the chance to see conservation science in action. I’m surrounded by people making discoveries, restoring scarred landscapes, nursing species back from possible extinction and creating a future with healthy human communities and natural ecosystems.”

Sandra Carr