Lione Clare: The Natural Photographer

Lione Clare

“When I first got my camera,” says Lione Clare, “I was fascinated with being able to freeze the moment. And since then I’ve really looked for and developed a skill for that, for catching the right moment.” Lione, a Resource Conservation major with minors in both Climate Change Studies and Media Arts, has found ways to use that skill in both her academics and travels. Most recently, she returned from a UM study abroad trip to Vietnam with Professor Nicky Phear over winter term, where Lione photographed the land and people. Her practicum project for the Climate Change Studies minor will be a series of photographs from that trip that highlights “how climate change is affecting the people and the environment, and some mitigation strategies that we saw.” This story-telling project will be on display in the DHC foyer, and Lione plans to present it at the Climate Change Symposium in the spring, as well.

Lione is no stranger to the idea of blending her artistic talents with her passion for resource conservation. While at home for the summer in Sitka, Alaska, she worked for the Sitka Conservation Society in the areas of social media and communications. There, she used her photography “to advocate for, and [help people] gain an understanding of, the importance of wilderness and public lands.” And, she says, the work felt meaningful. “In Alaska,” says Lione, “I live in a really cool place…It’s interesting to communicate and see the feedback that it inspires in people.”

The calling that Lione feels to document the natural environment got its beginning when she held her first point-and-shoot camera in her hands at age thirteen. After winning a North American Nature Photography Association High School Scholarship and having the chance to study with world-renowned photographers at a conference in Florida, Lione was given the chance of a lifetime: she traveled to Tanzania on a photography safari after her first year at UM, a fully-funded experience that was supported, in part, by the DHC and the President's Fund. There, she was able to hone her skill of capturing wildlife in action.

Now, she's using her talents to educate others about the effects of climate change on the environment and the wildlife that inhabit it. "I think a lot of people are either afraid or intimidated by the the science that's out there," she says. "Using photos to show how it's affecting the environment with concise captions that translate that science can be an effective way of communicating."