Photo Essay: The Uneasy Relationship Between Humans and Nature

Matthew swings between trees on the Lost Coast of California. Trained as a mechanical engineer, he spent two years sourcing his clothing, food, tools, and shelter from the wild.

A researcher injects a saline solution to connect the electrodes to the electrical signals of Maggie’s brain. Researchers at the University of Utah, working under Dr. David Strayer, are conducting studies measuring cognition in nature. The EEG cap and facial electrodes record brain activity as participants are exposed to different natural environments.

Kate waits for a storm to pass in southern Utah while wearing an EEG cap and facial electrodes that record her brain activity. Researchers at the University of Utah, working under neuroscientist David Strayer, are conducting studies measuring cognition in nature.

Esme swims in a balcony pool at the Parkroyal on Pickering in Singapore. The hotel contains over 15,000 square meters of greenery, amounting to twice its land area. Completed in 2012, the hotel introduced the country’s first solar-powered sky-gardens. Among its other energy conservation features are the use of automatic light, rain and motion sensors, rain harvesting, and recycled water.

Low and Ng landscape the first McDonald’s with a green roof in Singapore. The Singapore Green Plan promotes the use of green architecture to conserve the environment.

In the United States each year, an average of more than 73,000 wildfires burn about 7 million acres of land. In the recent fires in California, more than 5,700 structures were destroyed. To prevent wildfires in many landscapes, Forest Service employees like Jason (pictured) perform controlled burns between fire seasons, when the land is wet enough that fires don’t go out of control.

Farmers use ice to protect orange trees from cold winter temperatures in the Central Valley of California.

Michael picks cotton in Texas. As the Ogallala aquifer dries up, farmers are increasingly turning to wind farms for income.

Dave and Jenny during a swimsuit shoot on an abandoned farm in California. After years of drought, many farms in California were abandoned or left fallow. Even now with the rains returning, farmers fight for water rights; some make extra money by renting their land as a backdrop for photo and film shoots.

A machine samples air at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Chance and Patrick launch an ozonesonde balloon for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Colorado. The Trump administration has proposed cutting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s budget by 17 percent, including a 26 percent cut to research.

An elk taxidermy graces the halls of the Game and Fish Department in Pinedale, Wyoming. In order to catch people hunting off season, rangers bring the elk taxidermy into the wild and wait for someone to shoot it.

Uwe measures the velocity of a glacier for the Juneau Icefield Research Program in Alaska. Every summer since 1946, members of the Juneau Icefield Research Program have traversed the icefield, contributing to the oldest continual study of a glacier in the Western Hemisphere.

Kenzie hangs from a safety rope inside a melting glacier. She is with the Juneau Icefield Research Program, in which students assist scientists in climate research.

Human Nature, Nazraeli Press, 2017

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