This time last month, I was attending/speaking at the Northwest regional SPE conference in Wyoming. The conference venue was AMK Ranch, a historic site on the banks of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, operated by the University of Wyoming. It was at last year’s regional SPE conference that I learned that the fall 2018 conference would be in Grand Teton NP. While I was intrigued, learning that the conference theme was “Human/Nature” is what sealed the deal – I had to go, and I had to submit a proposal to speak. I was accepted, and even though I had just done the drive from Portland to Yellowstone/Grand Teton NP in June, I committed to being there. I’m so glad I did.

Once I got to the ranch, I was blown away. It was amazing to be in these beautiful, historic buildings, listening to artists, many of whom I’ve admired for years (and featured here!), talk about their work concerned with humans and nature. As it was a small and intimate conference, there was only one track. I got in around noon on Friday, so I missed the workshop period, but I got to see talks by Evan Baden, Skott Chandler, instructors at Northwest College (who talked about their Photo Field Studies program in Yellowstone), Nancy Floyd, and Janet Neuhauser, as well as the first keynote, Clare Benson (who/whose work I just adore). On Saturday, I was there for presentations by Erika Osborne; Alexis Pike; Anh-Thuy Nguyen, Carlos Rene Pacheco, and Jacinda Russell; Daniel George; Amjad Faur; Nicole Jean Hill (who shared the Lora Webb Nichols Photography Archive); Janet Pritchard; and students Garrett Cruzan, June Sanders, Jessica Hays, Ryan Parker, and Leah Schretenthaler. The second keynote was Jesse Burke, and that was wonderful (this post’s featured image is Frost from his series Intertidal).

I can’t stress enough how impressed I was by this conference. For being held at what I think of as a very atypical venue, the conference went smoothly and the content was fascinating and inspiring. I’m really, really excited for next year’s conference, in #spoileralert Alaska!!!