April 10, 2014-Program: John Weller

This month John Weller will give a presentation based on his recent publication, The Last Ocean: Antarctica’s Ross Sea Project: Saving the Most Pristine Ecosystem on Earth.

John’s Bio: John Weller is a critically acclaimed photographer, writer and filmmaker based in Boulder, Colorado. Nature photography has been his passion since childhood, and after graduation from Stanford University with a degree in Economics, John began pursuing media full time. John’s first book of photography and essays, Great Sand Dunes National Park: Between Light and Shadow won national and international attention and engendered a greater appreciation for the delicate dune ecosystem. For the last ten years, John has worked on conserving the Ross Sea, Antarctica, a region deemed to be the last pristine marine ecosystem on Earth. John has made four photography trips to the Ross Sea, compiling a vast library of photographs along the way, all of which have been used in the international fight to protect the Ross Sea. John’s new book, The Last Ocean, offers a rare glimpse into life at the edge of the world – from Emperor and Adelie penguins to silverfish, seals and minke whales – Weller takes the reader on an unprecedented journey above and below the ocean surface. The Last Ocean is more than stunningly beautiful photography. It is a story central to our own: our struggle to sustain a population in a changing climate and with exponentially increasing pressures on world resources.

Summary of issue: The Ross Sea is under attack – unsustainable fishing is already spreading observable ripples of depletion through the entire system. But we still have a chance to act before it is too late. And we must. The Ross Sea story is not just that of a fish, or of the incredible creatures that live at the edge of the world. It is our story – the story of our struggle to become sustainable.

On the book (with links to press): Since its release, the book has received rave reviews in the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/books/review/southern-light-and-the-last-ocean.html?_r=1&), The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/national/health-science/the-last-ocean/2013/12/05/53ee3cc0-5e05-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_gallery.html#item0), Outside Magazine (http://www.outsideonline.com/photo-galleries/adventure-travel/antarctica/The-Last-Ocean.html), Scientific American (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/book-review-the-last-ocean/) and many others. He was recently featured on NPR’s national program, Science Friday (http://www.sciencefriday.com/guests/john-weller-.html#page/full-width-list/1).
“The Last Ocean uses images as the hook to pull us more deeply into the science, lore and heroic history of [Antarctica]. The world is a careless place. We fish far from home. We pollute in ways we cannot see, hear or feel. This book will open your eyes, first to the beauty of a world that lies beyond your sight. And more important, to the possibility of sustaining that far-off world that, in turn, sustains us.” – The New York Times