National Geographic wildlife journalist and biologist Joe Riis will share his experiences in a talk Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. on the BHSU campus.

National Geographic wildlife journalist and biologist Joe Riis will share his documented journey of wildlife conservation at a talk Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in Jonas Hall 305 on the Black Hills State University campus.

Joe Riis, also a South Dakota native, will share his photographs and discuss his two-year pronghorn migration project in which he documented for the first time the antelope migration near the Grand Tetons. Through his project, Riis was able to both celebrate the beauty of one of the longest remaining mammal migrations in the United States as well as highlight the perils of the pronghorn journey. Riis received an Emmy in 2011 for his pronghorn cinematography of the National Geographic Migration series.

Riis will also share photographs from his recent National Geographic assignments through four different continents.

Steve Babbitt, BHSU professor of photography, said Riis’s visit to BHSU is a great opportunity for everyone, especially photography students. Babbitt said many of his students say they would love to work for National Geographic, but doubt they can because they are from the Midwest. Riis, who was born, raised and still resides in South Dakota, is proof they can do it, Babbitt said. Riis is the youngest photography to ever work for National Geographic. He completed his first feature at the age of 26, photographing the rarest bear in the world in Mongolia.  

Riis will also speak to Babbitt’s Contemporary Issues and Photography class. “The students will have a chance to ask him questions,” Babbitt said.

Along with his Emmy, Riis’s has received a National Geographic Young Explorer award. He is also a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. His work is shaped by science and conservation, and he believes that photography can connect our culture to critical issues facing wildlife.  To view more of Riis’s visit www.joeriis.com

BHSU has a strong and growing mass communication program which includes an emphasis for students interested in photography. The University offers a variety of photograph courses including basic and advanced black and white photography, color photography, digital imaging, photojournalism, advanced photography studio lighting, the history of photography, and alternative silver and digital processes as well as contemporary issues classes. BHSU has among the finest darkroom and digital imaging facilities in South Dakota and the surrounding region.

For more information on Riis’s visit contact Steve Babbitt at 605-642-6769 or Steve.Babbitt@BHSU.edu