Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award

The nominees for the 2nd Annual Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award were announced today. Ami Vitale is one of the nominators for the prize.

This award is the first environmental award to single out innovators under the age of 40. It is created to serve as an early investment in our future, giving today’s top young minds the community and financial support that will take their ideas to the next level.

Ami nominated Asha de Vos, founder of Oceanswell, Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization, and an important advocate for diversity in marine conservation.

Wildscreen Photo Story Panda Award

Ami was named one of the three finalists for the 2018 Wildscreen Photo Story Panda Award. To win this award is to have your work judged as one of the best examples in the natural world storytelling genre by the industry’s most respected and accomplished leaders.

The finalist gallery was recently featured in The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

2018 World Press Photo: First Place, Nature Stories

I’m humbled and honored to named the first place winner in the 2018 World Press Photo awards for my National Geographic story “Warriors Who Once Feared Elephants Now Protect Them.” Thank you to all my friends at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary Community United for Elephants for trusting me to share your powerful story, to my editors Alexa Keefe and Sarah Leen for giving us the platform to share it and now to World Press Photo, for further casting the light on this important story of community and conservation.

I was awarded a World Press Photo, Second Place, Nature, stories, in 2017 for “Pandas Gone Wild.” In 2015, I received a Second Place, Singles, award in the World Press Photo Nature category for “Orphaned Rhino,” which is also from my body of work on Northern Kenya, like this year’s prize. This work is a long term examination of the change in the relationship between people and animals in the region.

In the photo above, keepers feed baby elephants at the Retiti Elephant Sanctuary in northern Kenya, the first sanctuary in Africa to hire indigenous women as keepers.

Please have a look all of the World Press Photo stories. Some will break your heart, others may make you laugh and hopefully inspire all of us to work harder to find solutions to our planet’s most pressing challenges.

You can also see my lecture at the World Press Photo Festival, where I shared the full arc of my photographic journey, including this story on the Retiti Elephant Sanctuary.

Jackson Hole Science Media Awards: “My Africa”

My Africa, a blue-chip VR film Ami Vitale directed on the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary for Conservation International won top prize for VR/360 Storytelling in the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards.

From the infinitesimal to the infinite, science plays a profound role in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. There has never been a more dynamic time in scientific discovery and innovation and the need for communicating science to public audiences and policy-makers has never been more important!

Recognizing excellence and innovation in 22 Content, Program and Craft categories, the Jackson Hole Science Media Awards celebrate the world’s most effective science storytellers and stories. Award-winners will be showcased at special screening events hosted with partner organizations around the world.

See the full list of 2018 winners here.

Recognition for Pandas Gone Wild

Ami’s panda images for National Geographic earned third prize for science and natural history picture story in Pictures of the Year International second prize for stories in the Nature category in this year’s World Press Photo Contest, and are shortlisted for the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards

The contests were covered by dozens of media including the BBC, The AtlanticYahoo News, Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic Australia, The Express Tribune, the Daily Mail, and DigifotoPro, where she also gave interviews.