National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore to Open 2021 NCF-Envirothon

National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore to Open 2021 NCF-Envirothon


National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore to Open 2021 NCF-Envirothon

NARD Foundation to Award Additional Scholarships

LINCOLN, Nebraska – The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) is excited to announce Joel Sartore as the keynote speaker for the 2021 National Conservation Foundation (NCF) Envirothon July 25-28, 2021.

Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, conservationist, National Geographic fellow and regular contributor to National Geographic magazine. His hallmarks are a sense of humor and a midwestern work ethic. Sartore will open the virtual NCF-Envirothon July 25, 2021.

“As a passionate conservationist and Nebraskan, Joel will be an inspiring speaker for our Envirothon student competitors,” said Jim Eschliman, NARD president. “His work on the Photo Ark will give students a look at unique species and the opportunity to learn more about the future conservation challenges we face.”

The National Geographic Photo Ark is an ambitious project committed to documenting every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries – inspiring people not just to care, but also to help protect these animals for future generations.

Sartore started the Photo Ark more than 15 years ago in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. Since then, he has visited more than 50 countries in his quest to create his photo archive of global biodiversity.

As the 2021 NCF-Envirothon host, Nebraska will virtually welcome 42 teams – 35 from the United States, four from Canada and three from China – to compete for scholarship dollars. The top three teams will receive scholarship awards from Smithfield Foods, Inc., as well as prizes from the National Conservation Foundation. First, second and third places will receive $15,000; $10,000; and $5,000 respectively. This year, the NARD Foundation will award an additional $13,000 for fourth through seventh places – $4,000, $3,500, $3,000 and $2,500 respectively.

“Envirothon is a unique competition where students have the opportunity to present real-world solutions to current environmental issues,” said Eschliman. “We look forward to awarding additional scholarships to some of the best and brightest student conservationists.”

The Envirothon is an agriculture, wildlife and science competition for high school students, which is traditionally held outdoors to give students a chance to take their classroom learning and apply it in a natural setting. Five-member teams compete to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and a current environmental issue. The top team from each state, province and nation partner participate in the annual NCF-Envirothon. The goal of the annual competition is help shape our future leaders’ knowledge in natural resources issues.

To learn more about Envirothon, visit: or