NANPA High School Scholarship Program

The NANPA High School Scholarship Program is an opportunity for 10 high school students interested in nature photography to spend a week in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park learning about nature photography, biodiversity and using photography to tell stories.

The program is funded by the NANPA Foundation annually. Support for the program is appreciated!

2020 Program Dates: July 6-11
The application period is now closed. Applicants will be notified by March 13 regarding the status of their application.

High school students, have you ever dreamed of sharing your passion for nature photography with others your age? Would you enjoy going out into the field with professional nature photographers to learn more about natural history and photography?

The NANPA High School Scholarship Program is an immersive education program based at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The program takes place annually in July. This special photography program is open to ten high school students who are interested in nature and nature photography. Combining classroom and field-based instruction, students will have the chance to improve their nature photography skills, learn about NANPA, meet industry professionals, and gain an appreciation of the Smoky Mountains’ rich natural history. Student recipients are responsible for a $175 registration fee and their transportation to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, TN.

Monies donated to the NANPA Foundation in memory of Nancy Rotenberg are used to support the NANPA High School Student Scholarship Program. Rotenberg was a NANPA volunteer who devoted much of her time to the high school program. Students may apply for assistance with the registration fee from this fund. Contact the program administrator for more information.

Want to support the high school program? Donate now.

Program Highlights

  • Photography Field Trips: Each day, the group will spend time out in the national park, learning about macro, wildlife and landscape photography in the field. The group will visit local waterfalls, mountain overlooks, and the famous Cades Cove area.
  • Biodiversity Education: Students will learn about the biodiversity and biology of the region through an orientation led by environmental educators at GSMIT and by local NANPA members involved in biodiversity research.
  • Classroom Instruction: Each day, program instructors and local NANPA professional photographers will provide classroom-based instruction on photography techniques, photo editing, and environmental photography.
  • Group Project: Students will work together over the course of the program to create a photo story about an aspect of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park ecosystem. At the end of the week, students will present the results of their work at a reception open to NANPA members in the area.
  • Pro for the Day: Each day, a professional NANPA member will join students in the field to provide instruction and inspiration.

Made Possible By:

History of Success

View the work of participants from earlier classes:

Program Overview Video
2018 Final Presentations
2017 Final Presentations
Read what the 2016 recipients had to say about their experience in the Smoky Mountain Journal of Photography.
2016 Final Presentations
2013 Program Video

Many of NANPA’s high school scholarship recipients have gone on to became leaders in our industry or to pursue careers in related fields, from wildlife biology to environmental science. Here are a few examples of some of the program’s outstanding alumni from different years:

  • Tyler Evert, 1999: Photographer for the West Virginia Department of Commerce
  • Gabby Salazar, 2002: NANPA President and National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grantee
  • Mac Stone, 2002: Committee Chair and active NANPA Member; professional nature photographer; Author of “Everglades: America’s Wetland”
  • Lindsey Adler, 2003: Internationally recognized fashion photographer
  • Kaitlyn Suter, 2003: Studied Technical Photography and starting an organization to help promote other NGOs through photography
  • R.J. Sindelar, 2003: PhD in Engineering; Pursuing a degree in Science and Natural History Filmmaking
  • Jorel Cuomo, 2003: FullItime photographer; Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Colorado and contest wins in Smithsonian and Nature’s Best Photography
  • Alex Snyder, 2005: Photographer at Peace Corps; Works for The Photo Society
  • Michael Zimmerer, 2006: Solo shows of work and currently in graduate school for photography
  • Moria Robinson, 2006: PhD Student in Population Biology at UC Davis; photographs moths and caterpillars as part of research and contributes to field guides
  • Maya Robinson, 2007: Photo Editor at New York Magazine Online
  • Rachel Klein, 2007: Freelance photographer and filmmaker
  • Ben Jacobi, 2007: Photographer/Sales Manager for Local Camera Store
  • Jocelyn Chuang, 2009: Commercial photography and Teaching Assistant for Digital Photography at the International Center of Photography in NYC
  • Lindsey Wasson, 2009: Staff Photographer for Seattle Times Newspaper
  • Joe Sulik, 2011: Youth Photographer of the Year at Nature’s Best Photography and studying journalism in college
  • Ben Knoot, 2011: Studying environmental science; Photography Awards from Audubon, Ranger Rick, and Nature’s Best
  • Lione Clare, 2013: Studying resource conservation and journalism in college
  • Avery Locklear, 2013: Studying photojournalism; Winner in Photo Competitions including Nature’s best Photography, National Geographic Student Expeditions, and Sony World Photography Awards
  • Mark Kreider, 2013: NANPA Meetup Leader and active member; studying environmental science and works as event photographer on college campus
  • Jenaya Launstein, 2013: Youth Photographer of the Year for Nature’s Best Photography; Winner in NWF, Canadian Geographic, Birds as Arts and others
  • Alice Sun, 2016: Cover photo of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont program brochure