National Wilderness Conference Keynote Speaker: Robert Glenn Ketchum, conservation photographer and founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers

Over the last 40 years, Robert Glenn Ketchum's imagery, writing, exhibitions, numerous books and personal activism have helped to define photography's successful use in conservation advocacy. Ketchum was named by Audubon magazine as one of the 100 people "who shaped the environmental movement of the 20th Century." American Photo magazine listed him one of the 100 most important people in contemporary photography in the 1990's, and then in 2010, named him 5th in their very select American Masters series. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and Annie Leibovitz, were the four previously recognized. Recent work in new technologies has further prompted Digital Photo Pro magazine to name Ketchum one of the new digital masters.

Ketchum's distinctive and very dimensional prints are in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art (NY), the National Museum of American Art (DC), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY). Significant archives (more than 100 images) have been acquired by the Amon Carter Museum (TX) and the Huntington Library (CA), and substantial bodies of work can be found at the High Museum (Atlanta), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Akron Art Museum (OH), Stanford University Art Museum (CA), and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Cornell University (NY).

As an undergraduate at UCLA, Ketchum studied with Edmund Teske, Robert Heinecken and Robert Fichter while shooting 1960's era rock bands that included The Doors, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Donovan and Traffic at clubs along the Sunset Strip. He received a Design B.A. cum laude from UCLA, did technical work in view cameras and color printing at the Brooks Institute and concluded with post-graduate work at California Institute of the Arts, mentoring there with Leland Rice.

Prior to his emergence as a photographer, he was a widely recognized curator. For 15-years, Ketchum served as the Curator of Photography for the National Park Foundation for whom he organized the exhibit and wrote American Photographers and the National Parks, the defining history of conservation photography in North America. After publication of this last title, Ketchum began to concentrate on his own politically-focused projects and publications, such as The Tongass: Alaska's Vanishing Rain Forest.

Ketchum's work has been integral to many diverse environmental struggles including passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Bill of 1990; enlargement of Saguaro National Park and mitigation of neighboring resort developments; creation of three new state parks in California; popularizing the Arctic and its beauty to underscore threats from global warming; and publicizing the Pebble Mine. With his past work in the Tongass being among his most visible successes, Ketchum has presently committed 12 years, two books, and a national travelling exhibit to protecting the parklands and wildlands of Southwest Alaska and Bristol Bay's offshore fishery. In 2010, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar gave him the 'Partners in Conservation Award.'

Ketchum is a founding Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (a Wilderness50 partner organization) and a lifetime Trustee of the Alaska Conservation Foundation. He is also a distinguished lecturer and teacher whose public engagements have included everything from small high schools to large colleges, multi-national corporations and the National Academy of Sciences.

Ketchum will be speaking at the National Wilderness Conference on Sunday, October 19th as part of the following: Inspiration for the Future of Wilderness with keynote speakers Monica Patel and Christina Mills, wilderness fellows; Robert Glenn Ketchum, conservation photographer and founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers; Dave Foreman, longtime wilderness advocate