Monday, August 27, 2012

Total Eradication

One afternoon in June I got a call from my editor asking if I wanted to drive 3 hours to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and slog around a swamp photographing wildlife trackers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. My answer: "Absolutely!" So I set out to meet up with Wildlife Specialists from the USDA who are tracking and hunting an invasive species from South America called Nutria. The species lives and feeds on thick marsh grass that is essential for the preservation of wetlands. As Nutria have reproduced and spread through Maryland their feeding habits have irreversibly changed dozens of marshlands into open water, displacing many species who call the wetlands home. The USDA's goal is the eventual total eradication of Nutria from the Mid-Atlantic. Happy hunting:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains a captive population of Nutria for study and urine collection to aid in their eradication efforts in the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Md. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Senate Race of Similarities

This November the balance of power in the White House will be decided at the polls. Perhaps more importantly, so will the balance of power in the United States Senate. The 2012 Virginia Senate race pits two former Virginia Governors against one another: Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen. With recent polls showing the candidates neck and neck, the race is a toss up. 

This Spring I set out on the campaign trail for The New York Times to document both candidates as they criss-crossed the state of Virginia shaking hands and giving speeches. Those paying attention to the race have noted the similarities between the candidates. Both men have occupied the Governor's mansion and both men are well known amongst Virginians. On the trail with both candidates I noticed the similarities firsthand. I also began noticing unintentional similarities in my photos. 

Rallies on Route 29: (Left) Democrat Tim Kaine in the Progressive enclave of Charlottesville, Va (Right) Republican George Allen in the rural town of Madison, Va. 


Saturday, August 25, 2012

On the Road with the Butler Bulldogs

Earlier this year I got a nice break from political coverage and flew out to Indianapolis, Ind. to meet up with the Butler University men's basketball team for four days on the road in Ohio. The team was battling to make the NCAA tournament in the midst of a rocky season. Butler, as you may remember, made unprecedented back-to-back appearances in the NCAA National Championship Game in 2010 and 2011. Not bad for a school with an approximate enrollment of only 4700 students.  I really enjoyed working with NYT Sports reporter Pete Thamel and after four days felt like a part of the team. Thanks to Head Coach Brad Stevens and all the players for giving us an inside look at life on the road for a college basketball team.

Constructed in 1928, Hinkle Fieldhouse (Left) is home to the Butler University Men's Basketball team and a source of pride for the team as evidenced by the design of their trophy case. Luke Sharrett for The New York Times


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Playing Catch Up: April + May

I've fallen behind in posting work here. My apologies for that. So here are photos from May and April, mostly in Washington, D.C.

U.S. President Barack Obama waits to greet G8 leaders in front of Laurel Lodge at Camp David during the 2012 G8 Summit on Friday, May 18, 2012 in Camp David, Md. Luke Sharrett/The New York Times.