Discovering Life in Vernal Pools

I had the great fortune and opportunity to work with an inspiring biologist, Jaymee Marty, who also happens to be an Olympic Trials qualifier for her speed in running marathons.  Photographed over two days for The Nature Conservancy, I documented her life and skills as a runner and the parallels drawn from her running to her biology work studying life in vernal pools. Vernal pools are seasonal pools, often only filled with water in spring when an abundance of miniature life wells up inside them, some of the creatures still not named by science. This cutting edge research, which takes place in Northern California, is documented in both a short multimedia film and photo essay.

Jaymee Marty running along the American River near Sacramento, California

Marty reflects along the river.

Jaymee Marty and her team of biologists walk towards the vernal pools in a ranching pasture. 

Marty and team try and capture samples of life in the pools.

A tadpole shrimp is nabbed and placed in a container for observation.

Detail of tadpole shrimp.

Marty skims the water for species samples.

An over/under view of the copepod-abundant, murky pools.

Marty and team peer into the buckets of samples pulled from the pools.

Detail of fairy shrimp and copepods found inside the pools.

Sharing an unusual find. 

Portrait of Marty in a vernal pool. 

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