2022 Student Photo Contest

Conservation in the West

Help choose the People's Choice popular vote! 

View all the entries here.  

Vote by text.   TEXT the title of your favorite photo to (205) 896-4313 or vote online.  Voting closes on April 22 at 5 PM.

Check back by 5:10 PM to see who won 1st! 2nd! and 3rd place! and the People's Choice award!




The State of the Rockies project invites students to submit up to three photos and a description of each photo(s) taken from the Rocky Mountain West that reminds us why, how, and/or what conservation efforts are necessary to preserve and protect nature. 

Please submit your entry to Cyndy Hines at chines@coloradocollege.edu by midnight April 14, 2022.

Submitted photos should address areas of concern for wildlife and habitat, outdoor recreation and diversity and inclusion in the outdoors, shifting climate patterns and processes, public lands, wildfires, water, and other conservation issues highlighted in the 2022 Conservation in the West Poll. Finalists will be determined by a jury of staff expert photographers. Finalists' photos will be posted on social media outlets during Earth week, April 18-22, 2021.

The people's choice by popular vote will be determined via vote-by-text. Photos will be posted on social media with a link to follow to cast a vote for the photo and description most compelling -- the most popular photo wins. Follow the vote-by-text instructions (details to follow).


Colorado College’s 12th annual State of the Rockies Project Conservation in the West Poll released last month showed a spike in concern over issues like drought, inadequate water supplies, wildfires, the loss of wildlife habitats and natural spaces, and climate change among voters in the Mountain West. Those concerns align with continued strong support for pro-conservation policies. 

The poll surveyed the views of voters in eight Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming), and found that 69 percent of voters are concerned about the future of nature, meaning land, water, air, and wildlife. Against that backdrop, 86 percent of Western voters now say issues involving clean water, clean air, wildlife, and public lands are important in their decision of whether to support an elected official. Voters in the Mountain West feel deeply connected to the outdoor landscapes that surround them. 88 percent of voters surveyed report at least one visit to national public lands like national parks, national forests, national monuments, and national wildlife refuges in the past year. Similarly, 93 percent report participating regularly in outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, camping, picnicking, bird and wildlife watching, biking, water sports, snow sports, hunting, and fishing.  74 percent say the presence of public lands in their state helps the local economy. At the same time, 48 percent of voters report making changes to where or when they recreate outdoors because of crowding, and 26 percent adjusted plans because of changes in climate like fires, less snow, or less water. 53 percent of voters view the loss of natural areas as a very or extremely serious problem. 

VIEW the 2021 student photography submissions.

This student event is made possible by funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is sponsored by The Colorado College State of the Rockies Project.

Meet the Judges

 Josh Raab

Josh-Raab_20190621_600.jpgJosh Raab is the Director of Instagram at National Geographic. Previously, Josh worked at TIME as a Photo and Multimedia Editor. He has also been an adjunct professor at the International Center of Photography. Josh started out as a photographer covering the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and Hurricane Sandy, then transitioned into editing by founding Jay Peg’s Photo Pub., an online and print publication for emerging photographers.

Josh is participating on the judges' panel for the second time this year.

Andrea Wallace

Andrea Jenkins Wallace is the Vice President of Artistic Affairs and Artistic Director of Photography and New Media at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen, Colorado.  After completing an undergraduate degree in Communications Media, Andrea Jenkins Wallace received her M.F.A. from the University of Colorado Boulder. Before coming to the Ranch in 2008, she worked for over ten years in academia, holding tenure track appointments at Lake Forest College and Willamette University. She is often an invited speaker to colleges and universities including Pratt Institute, the University of Denver, and the University of South Florida. She has also been a featured speaker at the Denver Art Museum and the Stonewall National Museum. In 2021, Wallace co-taught a class entitled Photography, Race, and Gender at Colorado College. Her film, Rochell and Brian, a documentary about teenage pregnancy, premiered at the New York International Independent Film Festival. She exhibits nationally and internationally with numerous shows throughout the Americas, Europe, China, and the Middle East.

Stephen Weaver

Stephen Weaver is an award-winning photographer with over 40 years of experience making images of the natural world. Formally educated as a geologist, Steve combines his scientific knowledge with his photographic abilities to produce stunning images that illustrate the beauty of the structure and composition of the earth and its natural systems.SteveWeaverheadshot.jpg

Stephen grew up in Pennsylvania and from an early age developed a passion for nature and the outdoors. As an undergraduate geology student, he first visited the Rocky Mountains where he fell in love with the mountain environment and the wide-open grand landscapes of the West. Steve currently photographs throughout North America with a major emphasis on mountains, desert, and prairie environments. He is particularly known for his evocative & artful images of grasses and the prairie environment.  View his work at Stephen-Weaver.com

Stephen is the creator of Colorado College's State of the Rockies landscape images exhibited across campus over the years.  He has been a member of the judges' panel for the past four years.

Report an issue - Last updated: 05/05/2022