OMAHA, Neb. — Wondrous and enchanting yet fragile and at risk, “The Natural World” (ISBN: 978-189031042-4), as seen through the eyes of celebrated nature photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen, chronicles ten distinct ecosystems that serve as islands of refuge not only for Earth’s diversity of life but for the human spirit as well. The man American Photo magazine calls “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography,” Mangelsen takes the viewer on a visual odyssey, from the wildebeest migration on the plains of the Serengeti to the penguins of Antarctica, from the grizzlies of Alaska to the frozen landscape of the polar bears on Hudson Bay.

In striking panoramic photographs, Mangelsen documents his subjects within the context of their varied environments. Excerpts from his journals detail his experiences in the field, and his words provide a window into the man behind the camera. Tom shares his love for and fascination with the magical places that have changed his life and his perspective on our shrinking wild places.

In her foreword, Dr. Jane Goodall weighs in on the state of the natural world, focusing on the impact of Mangelsen’s work in helping others better understand and protect our wild places. “It seems to me that he has the same kind of reverence for the spiritual essence of the wilderness as the Native American who believes that life on Earth is sacred, a gift from the Creator,” Goodall writes. “It is this, I think, which enables Tom to capture, again and again, something of the soul of the landscapes he portrays, something beyond the mere physical shape of the land, the mountains and the sky. In addition, Tom has the sharp, observant eye of a keen naturalist. He understands as well as loves animals, knows about their behavior, knows what to look for, what to expect. And there is another element: Tom sees the world around him with the perceptions of an artist, composing his pictures as a painter might.”

In the introduction Thomas Mangelsen describes what the book means to him. “The Natural World represents only a tiny fraction of the Earth’s extraordinary landscapes and amazing diversity. This book is a personal selection of images from those places and species that have touched me deeply and changed my life,” Tom writes. “I have been to places like the Serengeti and Denali many times; however, places like Iceland and Sossusvlei I have experienced only once. Few of the places are the same as when I first visited them. Hudson Bay’s polar bears were thought to be thriving when I first went there twenty years ago; today some scientists predict that because of global warming, polar bears will be gone from Hudson Bay and possibly elsewhere as soon as twenty years from now.”

The Natural World is a quiet call to action. An inventory of our planet as it battles climate change. A celebration of the wild and it’s value to the human psyche. A record of the Earth’s last great places, one that will inspire present and future generations with the message that what we have, can and must be saved.

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About Thomas D. Mangelsen
Thomas D. Mangelsen is among the most distinguished natural history photographers in the world. In 1994 Tom was honored by the BBC as Wildlife Photographer of the Year. He was named the North American Nature Photographer Association’s Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year in 2000. He received an honorary fellowship from The Royal Photographic Society in 2002. In 2005 was honored with Nikon’s Legend Behind the Lens recognition as well as being recognized as “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography” by American Photo Magazine. In 2007 he was named winner of American Photo Magazine’s Image of the Year 2007 – Nature category.

Mangelsen’s work has been widely published, including in Audubon, National Geographic, Life, Wildlife Art, American Photo and National Wildlife. He has been featured on television programs such as “The Today Show” and CNN’s “World News.” Most recently he was chosen as one of “Jane Goodall’s Heroes” on Animal Planet.

His images have been exhibited in museums around the United States, Canada and Europe, and are available in sixteen Images of Nature(R) galleries across the United States. Driven to express the beauty and intricacy of the wilderness, Mangelsen spends up to seven months a year in the field documenting the lands and creatures he so cares about.

In 2000 he co-founded The Cougar Fund, a nonprofit created to raise awareness for and to protect America’s greatest cat. All of Tom’s images are made in the wild, not in captive game farms, and are presented in their true form without computer manipulation.

About Dr. Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall is the most recognizable figure in conservation today. She began her landmark study of chimpanzees in Tanzania in June 1960 under the mentorship of anthropologist and paleontologist Dr. Louis Leakey. Her work at what was then called the Gombe Stream Chimpanzee Reserve would become the foundation of future primatological research, redefining the relationship between humans and animals.

In 1977, she established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in empowering people to make a difference for all living things. The institute also is widely recognized for establishing innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and the Roots & Shoots education program, which has 8,000 groups in 96 countries.

In 2006, Dr. Goodall received the UNESCO Gold Medal Award and the French Legion of Honor. In 2004 Prince Charles invested her as a Dame of the British Empire, the female equivalent of knighthood. Her scores of honors include the Medal of Tanzania, the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In April 2002, Secretary General Kofi Annan named her a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Dr. Goodall’s latest book is “Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating.” She also has authored In the Shadow of Man, Through a Window, the best-selling autobiography Reason for Hope and many children’s books. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior is the definitive scientific work on chimpanzees. She has been the subject of numerous television documentaries and is featured in the large-screen-format film Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees.

Valerie G, editor at CANW
Valerie G has been an editor with California Newswire for several years, is a gifted theremin player, can quote copious lines from 'Red Dwarf' and also knows where her towel is. Oddly, she does not drive, nor does she take the bus. She identifies as both human and democrat.