Professor Steven David Johnson at work. (Photo by Anna Maria Johnson)

Vernal pools photographer to present next University Colloquium

Photographer Steven Johnson, professor of visual and communication arts, will present a virtual University Colloquium Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 4:15-5:15 p.m.

Members of the public can view the free livestream on Facebook Live from our EMU Facebook page. (You do not need a Facebook account or page to access Facebook Live, nor does clicking on the link obligate you in anyway to Facebook.)

EMU students, faculty and staff can access secure Zoom links for events by visiting the Calendar page after logging into

Johnson’s recent sabbatical offered him the opportunity to delve deeper into the oft-hidden lifecycles of the amphibians and macroinvertebrates found in the temporary ponds of our Appalachian forests. He developed a system for photographing minute copepods and daphnia in the field and witnessed a tiger salamander migration for the first time. Much of this work appears in a new e-book he developed for the North American Nature Photography Association titled Vernal Pools: Documenting Life in Temporary Ponds.

In this talk, Johnson will share natural history images from his sabbatical project and discuss the field documentation process.

His photography of the natural world has appeared in Orion, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Ranger Rick, Virginia Wildlife, National Science Teachers Association Press books and numerous conservation publications and journals. Johnson is vice-president of the Virginia Wilderness Committee and an Affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers. When not in the office, you’ll probably find him crouched next to a vernal pool photographing Appalachian salamanders.

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