Programs & Services

NatureScapes 2017 Photo Contest Winners Announced

September 27th, 2017

(Albuquerque, NM)The results are in, and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) has announced the winners of the 2017 NatureScapes photo competition. Each year, NMMNHS choses a theme for the photo contest that encourages contestants to examine and understand New Mexico’s natural beauty. This year’s theme - “Water” - invited photographers to explore and re-discover nature throughout the state.  Winning photographs will hang in the gallery from October 21 through January 19, 2018.  

Appropriate to our desert environment, “Water” highlights the importance of water and encouraged participants to think broadly about the topic while remaining focused on natural areas across New Mexico. This year’s winners are:

  • First Place: Virga, Near Watrous, N.M., Cliff Wood

  • Second Place: Sun Sets Over the Waters of Navajo Lake, East Arm shore, Navajo Lake State Park, Michael Shaw,

  • Honorable Mention: Frog, Leonora Curtain Wetland Preserve, Santa Fe, Noreen O’Brien,

  • Student First Place: Parched, Los Griegos Lateral Acequia, Albuquerque, Colin Ross

  • Student Second Place: A Little Buggie, Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, Axel Smith

  • Student Honorable Mention: Thirsty Ants, Cañoncito, at Apache Canyon, near Santa Fe, Leo Unzicker

Photographs are judged by local experts and prizes are supported by the NMMNH Foundation. Each year, the Museum hangs 30 photographs; this year’s NatureScapes competition received nearly 100 submissions from photographers across New Mexico. The Museum encourages children to participate with special prizes for students (under 18).

“Photographers let their imagination and their hiking boots guide their choices for submissions this year,” said Ayesha Burdett, Bioscience Curator. “We have a great exhibit showing diverse natural areas in the state, from snowy mountains to parched rivers. Our judges did a great job selecting 30 special photographs from so many entries.”

“Every year, the Museum looks forward to seeing how photographers will interpret these changing naturalist themes,” said Museum Executive Director, Margie Marino.  “This exhibition provides professional and amateur photographers from the community with an opportunity to express their passion and love for the New Mexico environment through their work. All visitors will find meaningful connections to the through the eyes of these inspired photographers.”

A reception for the winning photographers will be held at the Museum on October 21, 2017 from 10:00-11:00am.




About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science: Established in 1986, the mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. The NMMNHS offers exhibits, exhibitions, programs, and workshops in Paleontology, Geoscience, Bioscience, Earth Science, Natural Science, Gemology, is the Southwest’s largest repository for dinosaur fossils, and includes a Planetarium and a DynaTheater. A division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the Museum is open 7 days a week, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. 1801 Mountain Road NW, northeast of Historic Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, NM 87104, (505) 841-2800.  Events, news releases and images about activities at the Museum of Natural History and Science and other in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at



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Honorable Mention: Frog, Leonora Curtain Wetland Preserve, Santa Fe, Noreen O’Brien,

2017 Naturescapes

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