Philip Hyde Grant

Information for Applicants and Award Criteria

The application period for the 2018 Philip Hyde Grant is now closed. Please check back in August 2019 for information about the 2019 grant cycle. 

This $2,500 grant is awarded annually by the NANPA Foundation to an individual NANPA member who is actively pursuing completion of a peer-reviewed environmental project that is consistent with the missions of NANPA and the NANPA Foundation.

Multimedia piece by Jaime Rojo, 2012 recipient of the Philip Hyde Environmental Grant for the campaign to discover the San Pedro Mezquital, the last free-flowing river in the Western Sierra Madre. The project is made possible by the support of the Alliance WWF/Gonzalo Rio Arronte Foundation and The NANPA Foundation.

For more information on Philip Hyde, please see his website.

Criteria for Receipt of the Philip Hyde Grant

  1. The grant will be awarded to an individual who is working on an existing project designed to improve, protect or preserve the condition of the environment.
  2. Recipient must be a NANPA member.
  3. Still photography must be an integral component in the environmental project. Projects which incorporate multimedia (video, film, time-lapse stills and audio) are eligible for the grant, but still photography must be at the core of the project.
  4. The environmental project may involve either wildlife or habitat protection or conservation.
  5. The environmental significance and the viability of the project will be the major selection criteria in awarding the grant. The grant applications are reviewed and scored by a panel of reviewers. A total of 100 points are available on each review sheet. These two criteria account for 80 of those points.
  6. The grant is not to be used as seed money for research or to purchase basic photography or computer equipment.
  7. The environmental project must already be underway.
  8. The environmental project need not occur in North America, but North American projects will receive 5 points on each panelists review sheet.
  9. All elements of the project must be performed within the legal parameters of local, regional, state and federal governments.
  10. Applications are only accepted online. Supporting materials may be attached electronically to the application and/or URLs may be provided in the application as additional resources regarding the project.
  11. A grant recipient may apply for the following year’s grant, whether for a new project or a project which previously was awarded the Philip Hyde Grant. Preference will be given to applicants who have not yet received the Philip Hyde Grant.
  12. A closing report shall be furnished to the NANPA Foundation no later than 90 days from the time the grant money has been completely allocated toward expenses. If all of the grant funding has not been allocated by March 31, 2020, an annual report is due at that time, followed by a closing report once grant funds have been completely expended.
  13. We strongly encourage recipients to attend NANPA’s Nature Photography Summit and Trade Show to accept the grant award. Because attendance would be at the recipient’s expense, it is not mandatory.
  14. Should the grant not be awarded in a given year, due to a lack of qualifying grant proposals, the grant money may either be awarded as an additional grant in the following year or be used by the NANPA Foundation for an environmental education project of its choosing.
  15. The NANPA Foundation may alter the Philip Hyde Environmental Grant qualifications and/or award criteria in any way which enhances the NANPA Foundation’s mission.

Additional Guidance to Applicants

The two factors which tend to create the greatest variability in scores are “Environmental Significance” and “Project Viability.” (See Grant Criteria 5.)

  • Environmental Significance refers to the proposed project, not the significance of the issue or cause being addressed. We evaluate the scope of the project, the project impact on the environment and the immediacy and timing of the project.
  • Project Viability refers to the likelihood of success of the project with consideration given to the accomplishments to date, future impact, the asset base to accomplish the goals of the project and the effective use of photography.

These two factors represent 80% of the score (split evenly). The information we request in applications is meant to allow us to score these factors. We do not score what we believe to be the general merits or environmental significance of the “cause” the applicant is addressing, nor do we score the potential of the project as we imagine it. All applicants tend to pick worthy causes with great potential. The significance of the proposed project is what’s scored, not the “cause.” And we evaluate the application ONLY and what is presented therein.

There are several recurring, general flaws in applications.

  • Applicants apply too early in the development and execution of their project when it is too early to tell a compelling or convincing story. The grant is for a work in progress not a future project…and projects in their infancy are unlikely to score well.
  • Photographers give themselves self-assignments and then go looking for organizations and collaborators to work with or to buy into their project. Those buy-ins and collaborations are not typically well-evidenced in the application. Applications say “I’ve talked to so and so…” but they offer no commitment from “so and so” to support the project in a specific way.
  • Many applications have vague or incomplete project plans without well articulated, realistic schedules, budgets or awareness of how to achieve success. For example, an applicant claims that he/she will mount a high-quality print exhibit in the spring of the following year at a museum or public facility, yet he/she hasn’t even identified or contacted any facilities as of late summer of the current year. All this, while concurrently proposing many weeks of field activity, photo editing and presentations makes the timeline unrealistic. Project management skills must be evident in the application. Another flaw along these lines is “the project that never ends.” Projects must have clear end points.
  • Lack of awareness of the best target audience and a plan to reach them. Many applicants show a lack of awareness of critical decision-makers and decisions related to the subject of their project. Applicants propose to use the project photographs in general education or conservation organization presentations that basically “preach to the choir.” General public education is good but successful applicants often go beyond that to communicate with and persuade decision makers, on specific upcoming decisions, in a timely fashion.
  • As a result of these flaws, the overall “environmental significance” of the project and “project viability or likelihood of success” is not convincing to the reviewers.

Application Process

To apply, complete and submit the online application form. Applications will be accepted online only. No mailed applications will be accepted. Application deadline is October 31, 2018 at 11:00pm EDT. Be sure to attach all relevant materials to your online application.

NOTE: The online submission process does not allow an applicant to complete a part of the application, save his/her work, and return to complete the remainder of the application at a later date. Do not start the application form until you are prepared to submit the entry in its entirety. A PDF of the application can be downloaded to use as a guide in preparing your application. You must then type in (or copy/paste) your responses to the question in the online application when you are ready to submit a complete application.


Past Recipients

2018 – Mac Stone, Old Growth: Ancient Swamps of the South
2017 – Morgan Heim, Trepass: The Environmental Costs of Marijuana Cultivation on Public Land
2016 – Krista Schlyer, Anacostia River
2015 – Alison M. Jones, No Water No Life
2014 – David Herasimtschuk, Hidden Rivers: The Freshwater Biodiversity of the Southern Appalachia
2012 – Jaime Rojo, San Pedro Mezquital River, Mexico
2011 – Beth Huning, Turning the Tide: San Francisco Bay Area Wetland Restoration
2010 – Paul Colangelo, Sacred Headwaters, Sacred Journey
2009 – Joe Riis, Pronghorn Passage
2008 – Amy Gulick, The Tongass National Forest, Alaska
2007 – Jenny Ross, The Salton Sea
2006 – Florian Schulz, Yellowstone to Yukon: Freedom to Roam
2006 – Stan Buman, Loess Hills: Restoring the Image
2005 – C.C. Lockwood, The Vanishing Marsh: Two Views
2004 – Ned Therrien, Monadnock Conservancy
2004 – Wendy Shattil and Robert Rozinski, Jewels of Colorado
2002 – Rich Reid, Gaviota Coast, California
2001 – Rich Reid, Gaviota Coast, California
2000 – Thomas Mark Szelog, Save Our Seals
1999 – Gary Braasch, World View of Global Warming