His interest in nature started in childhood, when he learned about the very last passenger pigeon from one of his mother’s Time-Life picture books. He has since been chased by a wide variety of species including wolves, grizzlies, musk oxen, lions, elephants and polar bears.
His first National Geographic assignments introduced him to nature photography, and also allowed him to see human impact on the environment first-hand.
In his words, “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.”
He has written several books including Photographing Your Family and RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species. His latest book, Let’s Be Reasonable, is a collection of essays from CBS Sunday Morning. All are available through his website or wherever books are sold.
In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Joel has contributed to Audubon Magazine, Geo, Time, Life, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and numerous book projects. Joel and his work have been the subjects of several national broadcasts including National Geographic’s Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, NPR’s Weekend Edition and an hour-long PBS documentary, At Close Range. He is also a contributor on the CBS Sunday Morning Show with Charles Osgood.
Joel is always happy to return from his travels around the world to his home in Lincoln, Nebraska where he lives with his wife Kathy and their three children.