Summary Biography of Byron B. Flateland, BSEE, MSEE, MBA, MCIS
My background is engineering, so I’m a curious fellow always going the extra mile to see what’s around the next corner. My passion is traveling to different parts of the world to understand what’s there and to view it, usually through the lens of my camera. There are so many beautiful things, large and small, natural and man-made; some of the most interesting photo opportunities are at the juxtaposition of the two. I generally look for an out-of-the-ordinary perspective or an angle, both literally and figuratively, that others may overlook. And, many times, there’s a fascinating story to go along with the photo.
I especially enjoy learning about cultures and wildlife and photographing in countries where traditional ways of life are more prevalent; these are, in many cases, in danger of disappearing. I’m involved with several NGOs with missions in developing countries, so being able to use my photographic skills in support of such is especially gratifying.
What makes you passionate about helping the Corbett Foundation?
I believe that the great mission for this generation is to lift out of extreme poverty all in the world that remain in that condition. But this cannot be done at the expense of our wildlife. As livelihoods expand and infrastructure proliferates, wildlife are increasingly pressured to give up habitat necessary for their survival and animal mortality is more likely because of more frequent conflict with people living nearby.
The Corbett Foundation’s holistic approach by which they address all issues surrounding human-wildlife conflict make its programs some of the most sustainable of such organizations, and one of the most exciting! Examples of this holistic approach include surveys of wildlife populations and habitat assessment, building local support for wildlife conservation through initiatives such as health training, educating nearby villagers in sustainable livelihoods as an alternative to habitat-destroying practices, and providing alternative sources of fuel such as biogas to relieve foresets of firewood pressures. In addition to taking direct action themselves, they advocate on behalf of wildlife to government and other organizations, and partner with a number of other wildlife organizations whose strengths complement their own.
Doubling of tiger populations in India to nearly 3000 over the last ten years attests to the effectiveness of Corbett and other organizations, but the pressure on not only tigers, but other wildlife is relentless, so resources must be continually reinforced.
How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?
By providing compelling photographs of endangered animals and the extraordinary efforts by dedicated people to save them, I believe people are motivated to care about these aspects of our shared environment. Showing such tangible progress being made paints a picture that these efforts are paying off and that, despite mounting pressures, it is possible to achieve a sustainable balance between people and wildlife. Sparking such awareness will lead to increased support for the vital work of the Corbett Foundation.
What message would you like to send to your supporters?
If you’re not already, get interested in the world around you, the world outside of your immediate day-to-day existence! Select an issue that interests you, such as wildlife conservation, and get passionate about it. The more you learn, the more your enthusiasm for the topic will grow. Then get involved, whether it be through financial support, volunteering, helping to educate friends, or all of the above and more!
Summary Biography of Jill S. Flateland, RN, BSN, CCRN, MBA
Animals, like humans, suffer trauma and severe life stressors. With over 40 years of experience as a critical care nurse, health care executive, and CEO of an urgent care corporation, my greatest passion is to bring healing to those in need. Together, we take one step at a time to reach a maximum recovery.
I recently retired, and have become a published author of family memoirs and fiction. I also love to travel with my husband, Byron, to exciting new regions, studying different cultures, wildlife, and experiencing new adventures. Byron’s passion is photography, and I learn something new from him every day. After 47 years of marriage, we still make a great team.
1. What make you passionate about helping the Corbett Foundation?
My passion comes from deep within, as evidenced by a lifetime of caring, healing, and recovery. Care for animals is just as important to me as easing human suffering. Wildlife and plants are becoming extinct at a breath-taking rate, and is due to illegal trafficking, ignorance, and neglect. If I can use my talent to relieve this anguish, I will endeavor to do so.
The Corbett Foundation brings hope for a better future. They are doing their part to ensure a more secure future for our wildlife and for us by curbing the demand for animal byproducts, establishing and enforcing laws against illegal trafficking, and volunteering with conservation organizations that help combat the threats facing Earth’s animals. I want to join them in doing my part to inform the world of their successes. Through a camera’s eye, details come to life for those who can’t afford to travel to exotic locations to see tigers, elephants or other creatures, yet they too, can contribute to Corbett Foundation in other ways.
2. How do you believe your photography can make a difference for them?
Photography brings to light actual scenes of wildlife, their beauty, natural habitat, and their suffering. Photos can educate us on the rare species found in the woods, along farmlands, or in the wilderness. Sometimes we see things, but never really take notice. Photos capture real-time images that reflect on the environment as it is today. They capture both the positive and negative side effects of human encounters such as trash, plastic bags or bottles in the area which can cause harm to animals. Share these photos with citizens and authorities to help them take action to remove potential harm.
Photos also intrigue children and our future generations. Our granddaughter will sit and watch animal documentaries for hours. They blend a scientific background with nature and show the proper way in which to interact with the world. The Corbett Foundation can use our photos in any way they see fit to promote their agenda to all.
3. What message would you like to send to your supporters?
Education is the key to teaching respect and conservation of wildlife, flora, and fauna. We can succeed when we unite our efforts, and photos bring the issues to the foreground. Put a story to the pictures, and it captures the beauty, intrigues the mind, and provides solutions to an age old problem—extinction!