Monday, July 26, 2010

Remembering Adventure Photographer Wes Skiles

Acclaimed photographer and explorer, Wes Skiles, died at age 52 last Wednesday, July 21, in a tragic reef-diving accident in Palm Beach County. His death comes only days before National Geographic published his story on the Blue Holes of the Bahamas as the cover of its August issue.

Skiles was best known for his work in educational and adventure science films and for pioneering the exploration and documentation of Florida’s springs. Over the past 20 years, he created and produced more than a dozen films for major networks, including his acclaimed Water’s Journey series of films and the IMAX film Journey into Amazing Caves, in which he led a major National Geographic expedition to Antarctica to film the largest iceberg in recorded history. He advanced his field of high definition imaging by employing innovative techniques as both an underwater and topside shooter.

Skiles' primary goal was to focus public attention on the earth’s most important resource, water. His devotion to the study and protection of Florida’s springs led him to serve as the education chairman of the Florida Springs Task Force. His work in exploration and survey within Florida’s groundwater systems has been widely published in scientific journals and publications. He established both Karst Environmental Services and Karst Productions in order to pursue a career centered on his primary interest.

A man on a mission, Skiles was determined to educate and to inspire Floridians about their remarkable array of water resources and how each has a role to play in safeguarding this precious resource. He touched many lives and will be dearly missed.

To hear and read the full story, please visit NPR and Audubon.

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