Visual storytelling has the power to inform and inspire conservation of endangered species and wild landscapes. Visual content shared on digital platforms, including social media, drive the conversation while reaching more audiences and enhancing participation. An internship with conservation photographer and National Geographic explorer Carlton Ward Jr. incorporated exploration, science, and digital media to communicate the challenges of increasing land development in Florida and to advocate for the protection of the Florida Wildlife Corridor. Through wildlife camera trapping, collaborating with local landowners, and assisting an award-winning documentary film team, the internship provided exposure to the ins and outs of visual storytelling for the conservation of Florida’s wildest places. In an effort to contribute an additional outreach strategy for the Florida Wildlife Corridor, the knowledge gained in the internship was used to create a detailed proposal for the production of a digital video series titled Step Into Wild. Using digital media as a tool to educate and advocate, Step Into Wild aims to encourage individuals to get outdoors and explore the wildlife corridor for themselves. By incorporating science and conservation with a feeling of adventure, individuals will be inspired to step into the wild parts of Florida that still remain. By restoring a connection with the environment in which they live, viewers can find reasons to be a voice for their protection.
Byrtus, Malia, "Step into wild: Communicating conservation through exploration and digital media" (2017). Internship Reports (Restricted). 287.
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