Joel Sartore is an American photographer, speaker, author, teacher, and a long time contributor to National Geographic magazine. He is the head of The National Geographic Photo Ark project, a 25-year effort to document the approximately 12,000 species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.
Sartore graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in journalism. His interest in nature started in childhood when he learned about the very last passenger pigeon from one of his mother’s Time-Life picture books. He has since been in close contact with a wide variety of species including wolves, grizzlies, musk oxen, lions, elephants and polar bears. His first National Geographic assignments introduced him to nature photography, and also allowed him to see human impact on the environment first-hand.