Volunteers are at the heart of what we do. Our monthly Keystone Volunteer feature showcases the hard work, talent, and dedication of Madison Audubon volunteers who make the organization's work possible.
If you've read the Madison Audubon newsletter, looked at any of the beautiful images on our website, or visited our Facebook page, chances are you're already familiar with Arlene Koziol's work. Arlene is a conservation photographer who donates her images to Madison Audubon to help us tell the story of Wisconsin's amazing birds and wildlife.
Arlene studied nursing and sociology at UW Madison in the 60’s. Later, her and her husband Jeff and worked and raised a family in the Chicago area for 37 years. Arlene owes her love of the outdoors to her father, who was an avid hunter and fisherman. She and her husband have now retired to Madison, where she is active with countless conservation groups and loves to spend time with her grandkids. Her favorite birds are the brown pelican, sandhill crane and osprey. Here's what Arlene had to tell us about her work as a conservation photographer, and what role nature plays in her life.
Nature is necessary in my life. It helps me focus, stimulates all my senses and makes me feel balanced within. Natural experiences are essential for my physical, emotional and mental health.
In the past, I did nature photography for my own enjoyment and education. Now Iam now inspired to use my images of nature,andpeople restoring or enjoying nature, forlocal conservation and education.
Multimedia journalist Morgan Heim states, “Conservation photography is as much about what a photographer does with the photo-what that photo is used for after it is taken-as it is about the subject or beauty of the image itself.” For example , the photographs of the great wilderness photographer Ansel Adams and others, brought about the establishment of Yosemite as a National Park.
I am also an advocate for nature photography. Photography is one of the best ways to connect people to the natural world.
I believe there is a critical role now for the arts to entice people of all ages to get outside and explore and discover nature.
With conservation photography I want to make a difference in a small way. I want to be relevant at this stage of my life."
Banner photo by Arlene Koziol. Painting by Peggy Macnamara.