Emma Balunek is student at Colorado State University studying Ecosystem Science and Sustainability with minors in Organic Agriculture and Global Environmental Sustainability. Emma is a conservationist, animal lover, and photographer. She loves wildlife photography but also enjoys taking pictures of her black Labrador and chickens. Emma's passion for wildlife and the outdoors began at a young age at her family farm in Pennsylvania that they manage for wildlife. Over twenty years, her family has restored old cropland into beautiful wetlands and warm season grasses for a variety of wildlife. It has been amazing to see the transformation - a healthier deer population and an increase in waterfowl. Whenever Emma visits home from college she looks forward to visiting the farm. 

Emma believes visuals are an incredibly important tool to help communicate important conservation issues. By sharing her photos, she hopes she can spark an interest in people about the natural world so there can be more people who stand up and support the protection and conservation of nature and wildlife. 

Her current conservation project is a photo story about the impacts of development on prairie dogs, the importance of this keystone species to the ecosystem, and the value of relocation. She plans to use her images to educate local community officials, developers, and the public in Fort Collins through publications, presentations, and art galleries. 

Keep up with Emma on her Instagram page here