La Manzanilla, Mexico

In March of 2010, a group of UNR Photography students and instructors joined environmental science students organized the Great Basin Institute in La Manzanilla, Mexico. Over the course of a week-long workshop, students documented wildlife and assessed the local ecology as well as explored the nearby towns and experienced the culture.

"Twelve photography students returned from a week of conducting international photographic fieldwork experience along the Pacific Coast of Mexico, south of Puerta Vallarta and north of Manzanillo. 'It gave us (students) a chance to get that fieldwork experience,' said Sebastian Diaz, UNR Senior. 'We gave the Great Basin Institute the pictures needed to change people’s minds by visually representing the work that was being done to preserve the La Manzanilla ecosystem.' This was a collaborative venture with the photography program at UNR, the Great Basin Institute and Cal State Channel Islands. The work focused on scientific study and community interaction/service in La Manzanilla and within an extensive coastal nature preserve. Photography students worked with teams of other students and science mentors to produce a series of publishable images for a book.

"The genesis of this project began in the year 2000, when Jerry Keir, Director of Great Basin Institute, began teaching university field courses in La Manzanilla, Jalisco, focusing on coastal and interior natural resource issues. Over the years, these environmental studies courses have led to a more sustained commitment to not only educating students on the issues facing Mexican conservation, but also to making lasting contributions to the scientific understanding of this unique and fragile place. Photography students partnered with Peter Goin, Foundation Professor of Art in Photography and Videography, to set up re-photographic points along the La Manzanilla coastline. 'It was cool that we were the first to lay down re-photographic points that they will use for the next century,' said Diaz."

press release by Kaitlin Godbey, May 2010

See the archive here.

Selected photographs by UNR advanced photography students:
Andy Hatch, Ana Leyva, Brandon Dimit, Brittany Fowell, Courtney Spangler, Jack Burnett, John Grinde, Kaitlin Godbey, Kerstin Trachok, Megan Matthers, Melissa Test, and Sebastian Diaz