Sarah Hanson Haiti

Sarah Hanson is finishing up a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Temple, after picking up a Master's in Globalization and Development Communication in 2016.

As a full-time research assistant at Temple's Center for Biodiversity, Hanson has gone on three research trips to Haiti with the director of the evolutionary biology lab, Dr. Stephen Blair Hedges. On these trips, her job is to collect frogs, snakes and lizards for biological research.

Though Hanson has had a passion for photography for several years, she developed an interest in conservation photography when she met National Geographic photographer Robin Moore on one of her trips to Haiti. Hanson has racked up a library of photos of Haitian wildlife, people and landscapes.

"On the field expedition we visited these biodiversity hotspots," Hanson said. "We sampled the biodiversity and documented it, because it's largely unexplored."

Because these forests are at high elevations, Hanson and the team traveled primarily by helicopter, which is evident in many of her photos. 

When an email circulated calling for artwork to be put up at Saxbys on Temple's Liacouras Walk, Hanson expressed interest in having her photos displayed. When she found out she got the gig, she chose to put up some of her photos from her trips to Haiti.

"I chose to focus it on Haiti mostly because I wanted to raise awareness for Haiti National Trust," Hanson said. "It's a nonprofit cofounded by the professor I work for, to be the formal mechanism for protecting Haiti's environment."

Hanson's artwork was put in January and is scheduled to stay up until at least the start of summer.

"Since 2012, with Haiti National Trust being founded, there have now been three new national parks established in Haiti," Hanson said. "Two existing, three new, which is pretty significant."