Austin Teague - 2nd Place - Into The Wild Photo Contest 2016
Ashley Hogan: Where was this photo taken?
Austin Teague: This photo was taken at the Rio Grande Gorge just to West of Taos, NM.
AH: What inspired you to capture this particular photo?
AT: I normally carry my camera when I'm out in the field because I like wildlife and landscape photography, but more importantly I like to show others, that might not have the same opportunities as I, the beauties and wonder of the natural world. During this particular moment I had came across some Bighorn Sheep along the Rio Grande Gorge and thought this would be a good opportunity to show case this particular animal and its habitat.
AH:How has your interest in photography grown over time into a hobby?
AT: When I was in middle school I volunteered at the Abilene Zoo, and I started photographing the animals there just for fun. Then when I would travel and go to other zoos I would photograph animals and their exhibits and bring back the photos to show the zookeepers I volunteered for. Eventually I just found myself always around wildlife or in remote places with a camera, and liked showing off the pictures to friends and family. For me the actual hobby is working with wildlife and being outdoors, the photography is just a way for me to show my passion for the wild.
AH:What did you study/what is your specialization in NRM? Why did you choose that course?
AT: I earned my Bachelor's degree in Wildlife Management. I can not remember a time in my life when wildlife wasn't important to me, in fact I was in middle school when I made the decision to attend college for wildlife and never once considered going for anything else.
AH:When did you graduate and what have you been doing since graduation?
AT: I graduated with my Bachelor's in May 2011. Immediately after graduation, I worked as a field technician for Colorado Parks and Wildlife on research project involving sage grouse. Then in 2012, I was hired by New Mexico Game and Fish as a Conservation Officer. I was the district officer or local game warden for Clayton and then Carlsbad. i have since promoted to the Northeast Regional Wildlife Biologist and still keep my status as a commissioned officer for the state of New Mexico.
AH:What are your ultimate career goals?
AT: My ultimate career goal would be to continue working with wildlife and promoting conservation wherever that may lead (hopefully a nice city next to or in the mountains).
"Where do I go now?"
Photo credit: Austin Teague
Austin Teague graduated from Texas Tech in 2011 with a BS in Wildlife Management. He is currently a Northeast Regional Wildlife Biologist and a Conservation officer for New Mexico Game and Fish.
Ashley Hogan is an assistant in the Department of Natural Resources Management. She graduated from Texas Tech with a BS in International Economics in 2016. She also works for the USDA-Agricultural Research Service.