Picture of a seal swimming in the ocean.

Conservation Storytelling at National Geographic

A macaque monkey performs at Mae Rim Monkey School, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Presented by

National Geographic


Time: SATURDAY, Sept 21th | 7.30 PM
Location: Smorgasburg Beer Garden

Over the last ten years, wildlife storytelling at National Geographic has evolved from stories with a focus on behavior towards features that tackle issues about wildlife conservation and animal welfare.

Beautiful wildlife images make people care about the natural world, but the stories that need to be told, the photographs that must be seen, are the ones that shine a light on our relationship with the natural world.

Join photographers Kate Brooks, Jennifer Hayes, and Kirsten Luce in conversation with Sarah Leen, Director of Photography, at National Geographic, as they share their experiences covering the poaching crisis, climate change, and wildlife tourism.

Make sure you also check out Silicon Valley Grows Up exhibition by National Geographic.


Kate Brooks is an international photojournalist and filmmaker, who chronicled conflict and human rights issues many years before turning her lens to conservation issues.

Her photographs have been extensively published in TIME, Newsweek, Smithsonian, and The New Yorker and exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. In 2010 Brooks’ love for filmmaking was sparked while working as a cinematographer on the documentary The Boxing Girls of Kabul.

In 2012-13, she was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. While there, she researched the global wildlife trafficking crisis before directing her first film The Last Animals. The documentary premiered at Tribeca Film Festival on Earth Day 2017, and was awarded a Disruptive Innovation Award. The film has been widely recognized for its ability to disrupt the status quo on policy and change hearts and minds, later winning the Terra Mater Factual Studios Impact Award in consideration with Blue Planet II.

Brooks’ drive and passion for conservation comes from the fundamental belief that time is running out, and that we are at a critical moment in natural history. From her perspective “despite of all the human destruction on the planet, there is still a natural order, and it is necessary for us to do everything possible to protect it while we can.” The Last Animals is being distributed through National Geographic, Hulu, and Netflix, and Kate is now back to taking pictures.

Kirsten Luce is a photojournalist based in New York City. She studied art, anthropology, and journalism at the University of Georgia in the United States, and at the Universidad de Colima, in Mexico. Her work has been published by National Geographic, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, TIME, Harper’s Magazine, The Marshall Project, ProPublica, and others. Luce received the Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography David Laidler Memorial Award in 2016, and was named a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2015. Her photography has been exhibited at the U.S. Senate, the National Gallery of Canada, Visa pour l’Image in France, and several other festivals and galleries.


Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism, and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues.

National Geographic reaches millions of people in 172 countries and 43 languages. It has the largest social media following of any magazine, and its digital and social media serves more than 350 million monthly viewers around the world.

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