The Ocean

Photo: Paul Nicklen

Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Stock

Name: Paul Nicklen
Place of Birth: Saskatchewan, Canada
Current Home: Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
Occupation: Photojournalist and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A pilot

How did you get started in your field?
I was a biologist, and when I was 26 I switched full-time to being a wildlife photographer.

What is a typical day like for you?
I work 18 hours a day in the field in the Arctic or Antarctica because it is sunny 24 hours a day during their respective summers.

What inspires you to dedicate your life to the ocean?
The ocean is hidden, isolated, incredibly vast, vulnerable, and completely underrepresented. We need more scientists and photographers out there documenting change and creating awareness.

What has been your favorite experience in the field?
Seeing the largest marine protected area in history put around the Phoenix Islands based on our story we did for National Geographic magazine. The continuing work of scientists like Greg Stone was key.

Do you have a hero?
Many: David Doubilet, Flip Nicklin, Joel Sartore, Jane Goodall, Cristina Mittermeier, David Suzuki, and the list continues.

If you could have people do one thing to help the ocean, what would it be?
Factor the ocean into all of their day-to-day decisions, just as they do money. Mostly, be very aware of every marine species they consume.

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