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What Does It Mean to Be Human? Acclaimed Photographer Shares Her Answer at Town Hall



Acclaimed photographer Cristina Mittermeier has dedicated her life to saving the world’s oceans. She is Wednesday's Town Hall speaker. (GV Wire Composite/David Rodriguez)
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Although she has dedicated her life to saving the world’s oceans, Cristina Mittermeier has also traveled to all the continents focusing on how climate change is impacting isolated communities.

And, on Wednesday morning, she will share her stories and award-winning photography from those journeys with the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall audience at Fresno’s Saroyan Theatre.

“Images can help us understand the urgency many photographers feel to protect wild places,” says Mittermeier. “My work is about building a greater awareness of the responsibility of what it means to be human.

It is about understanding that the history of every living thing that has ever existed on this planet also lives within us. … and that we have a duty to act as the keepers of our fellow life forms.”

Wednesday — 10:30 a.m.

Saroyan Theatre

Marine biologist Cristina Mittermeier

Cristina Mittermeier

Topic: “Putting a Human Face on Climate Change: A Photographic Journey”

Speaker: Marine biologist and photographer Cristina Mittermeier

“Mitty” was born in Mexico City in 1966 and grew up in nearby Cuernavaca. She graduated from the ITESM University in Mexico with a degree in Biochemical Engineering in Marine Sciences and attended the Fine Art Photography program at the Corcoran College for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, Mittermeier founded the International League of Conservation Photographers to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues and coined the phrase “conservation photography.”

In 2014, she co-founded SeaLegacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and re-wilding the ocean to benefit biodiversity, humanity, and the earth’s climate.

Along with her partner, Paul Nicklen, she was named one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year in 2018. In 2021, she was featured in “Welcome to Earth” on Disney+.

Ticket Information

Information on tickets for Mittermeier’s lecture and other speakers this season is available at this link.

Next Month’s Speaker

Feb. 21, 2024 — 10:30 a.m.

Christine Baranski

Christine Baranski

Topic: “From Broadway to Hollywood: An Actor’s Journey”

Speaker: Actor Christine Baranski

Although recognized for her versatility across genres and performing media, the Emmy and Tony award-winning Baranski is known for playing sophisticated and highly educated upper-class women. Counters Baranski: “These characters that I play, they think that’s me. They should be in a room alone with me when I watch the Buffalo Bills. It is loud.”

About Town Hall

The nonprofit San Joaquin Valley Town Hall is run by an all-volunteer board of directors. For 87 seasons, its mission has been to bring nationally and internationally renowned, thought-provoking speakers who inform, educate, and entertain the audience.

GV Wire is a sponsor of Town Hall.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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