What is ‘Voices of a Flyway’?

‘Voices of a Flyway’ examines the mutual challenges that migratory birds and humans face due to human activity on the planet. Our project stimulates active, mindful listening to nature; reintroduces us to the species and places of our past; deepens our connection to the natural world; and heals our collective mindset about our place within it.

More and more, we find ourselves living in urban centers, removed from the natural landscapes we evolved alongside. This has led to a sensory disconnect from nature, threatening global biodiversity conservation. ‘Voices of a Flyway’ is our attempt to rekindle a deeper connection with nature so we can embrace sustainable lifestyles that foster healthy global ecosystems, ensure future flows of ecosystem services, and maintain human well-being.

Over the course of two months we embarked on a journey, travelling north with a billion migratory songbirds as they navigated a matrix of human-impacted ecosystems from the Gulf Coast to the boreal forests of northern Minnesota. ​​Concurrently, we spoke to people sharing the land with these birds. Together we aim to tell a story that speaks to the beauty of nature and the common bond that migratory birds and humans have with the land, including the struggles we both face living in a modern world.

A combination of ultra-rich, immersive audio and high-resolution, intimate photography form the media we use to bring this story to you in its most captivating and honest form. Our final products include an online story map, podcast series, and speaking tour in the communities that we visit (cancelled because of COVID-19).

  • Jacqueline Van Meter is a princpal collaborator of the ‘Voices of a Flyway’ project. Her main role during the field work portion of the project is to facilitate on-the-ground connections and interviews that will become our human stories. Currently, Jacqueline is a full-time field producer for StoryCorps, a nonprofit media organization that records, archives, and shares the stories of everyday Americans. She manages the on-the-ground operations of the StoryCorps Mobile Booth that tours the United States and leads interactive community events at each Tour stop. Her work has been featured on NPR stations and at live events across the country.
  • Tyler McClure is the photographer responsible for capturing the faces and places of the ‘Voices of a Flyway’ project. Currently, Tyler is a part-time, professional photographer and full time Fish and Wildlife Biologist employed by Meridian Environmental Inc. For this work, he studies salmonid and bull trout life histories, as well as fish passage facility operations as part of the Lewis River Hydroelectric Projects license implementation.

This project is supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society

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