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  • Aboard SeaLegacy 1: Documenting our Blue Planet

Aboard SeaLegacy 1: Documenting our Blue Planet

May 13, 2024 Des Moines Civic Center

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Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, "Mitty," was born in Mexico City in 1966 and grew up in nearby Cuernavaca, in the sunny state of Morelos. Hailed as one of the most influential conservation photographers of our time, she has dedicated her entire life to protecting the World's oceans - inspiring millions of people to do the same.

She graduated from the ITESM University in Mexico with a degree in Biochemical Engineering in Marine Sciences. She later attended the Fine Art Photography program at the Corcoran College for the Arts in Washington, D.C. In 2005 Cristina founded the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues and coined the phrase "conservation photography". 

In 2014, together with her partner in life and business, Photographer Paul Nicklen, she co-founded SeaLegacy, a non-profit organization using strategic communications at the intersection of art, science, and conservation to protect and rewild the ocean for the benefit of biodiversity, humanity, and climate within our lifetimes.

Cristina's work has been published in hundreds of prominent magazines and media outlets, including National GeographicTIME, CNN, Maclean'sMen's Journal, and O. Along with Paul Nicklen, she was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, in 2018. In 2021, she was featured in Welcome to Earth on Disney+. Her limited-edition prints are in private galleries and public exhibitions around the World.

Cristina is honored with many notable awards, including the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award, the Humanity Content Creator Award from HIPA, and the Imaging Award for Photographers who Give Back. In 2021, she received the Seattle Aquarium's Sylvia Earle Medal and Travel + Leisure's Global Vision Award. She was also named one of the 100 Latinos Most Committed to Climate Action. Additionally, she is a World Photographic Academy member and the first female photographer to reach 1M followers on Instagram. In 2022, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, honoris causa, from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. 

A sought-after speaker, Cristina is acknowledged by Real Leaders as one of the World's Best Keynote Speakers. She is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and aligns with Rolex's Perpetual Planet initiative on collaborative efforts to preserve the natural World. When not at sea, she lives on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada.

© Photos provided by Crista Mittermeier

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