A New Found Respect for Teachers

Science teachers having fun at the NSTA show.

For the past year I helped launch Legends of Learning as cofounder and CMO. While I have worked with several education brands before, Legends represents my first dedicated full-time experience. Marketing learning games to middle school science teachers has given me a new-found respect for how hard teachers work.

In addition to the hours they spend at school, teachers often work nights and yes, weekends to prepare lessons for their classes, learn about new teaching methods, grading, and, oh yeah, answering parent and administrative correspondence. In short, teachers work hard.

Time Spent

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Teachers invest time not only in the classroom with today’s youth, but also exploring the vast amount of content and education solutions online. Teaching is often a 60-hour per week job, or more.

In spite of the numerous companies generating curriculum content, it can be extraordinarily difficult to find quality materials in this 21st century, post-textbook world. Teachers spend as much as five hours a week researching content for their classroom.

Teachers will invest more time finding content for subjects that are not over-tested for state and national standards, such as science (where Legends of Learning fits in), social studies, language, and the arts. These subject areas are underserved bu vendors. Most vendors build content for English and math since districts, charter school networks, and schools are incentivized to excel in math and English by our current education laws.

Teachers’ research processes extend beyond actually finding potential content; they also have to thoroughly vet it to see if it will fit in their classroom. Think about how much time we are talking about here. These are startup-level hours on a teacher’s salary.

Think about how much time we are talking about here. These are start-up hours on a teacher’s salary.

Sure, they get summers “off,” but not nearly to the extent most of us think. Districts and private schools have teacher training for weeks prior to the students’ first day. Many teachers go to Edcamps and conferences over the summer for professional development or PD as they call it.

To add insult to injury, schools are often underfunded. Most teachers invest some of their own money to buy classroom supplies and explore professional development because they want to do their job.

A Disaggregated Inundated Community

National Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes speaks to our ambassadors at ISTE.

What about sharing content found with each other online? Surely that would save time searching, and maybe even help teachers find resources their peers have already tested.

While this already occurs on a micro level, teachers don’t have a central location like Yelp to read each other’s reviews online.

K-12 education is inherently local. Teacher communities are often limited to their district or perhaps state. Online communities develop based on edtech used, social networks, and learning management system platforms, which vary greatly. Often boasting huge numbers, these teacher networks are quiet with little visible activity.

That makes well-connected, internet-savvy teachers who are well connected online highly valuable in some ways. Tech companies have figured that out, and now seek “ed influencers” to help spread the word about Some say this raises ethical issues. As someone in the space, teachers deserve any extra scratch they can make.

And that’s not because Legends of Learning pays its Ambassadors. We don’t. We incentivize them with free access to our platform, company swag, and funding for trips to PD events and conferences. Payments are strictly for our content reviewers, and we do not find those teacher consultants through our influencer networks.

In my book, if teachers can get a tech company to pay them for their efforts and insights, good on them. They deserve the extra dollars because work hard and are underpaid for their very important role in society: Educating the future leaders of our communities.

Over the long term teachers work this hard because they care about the children they educate. It’s unfortunate that more in society don’t understand the effort teachers put forth for their communities. But I do now, and that’s why I respect them so much more.

The Trump Presidency Ends in Calamity

I remember reading a prediction that the Trump presidency will end in calamity last winter. The author was Richard Nixon’s Watergate lawyer John Dean, an ominous prophet if there ever was one.

Seven months later, I have to agree. Trump’s presidency cannot end with the election of another president. It’s just unimaginable to me. He either passes away in office, successfully overthrows the government, gets impeached, or resigns.

Most of these scenarios will be the result of a calamity. And regardless, you have to look at the continuing series of Trump scandals and mistakes as an unmitigated self-imposed disaster.

Trump is a madman. The body of evidence out there is impressive, much more since I last wrote about this six months ago. Any argument that President Trump would be different than candidate Trump has been completely smashed. He is the racist, lying egotistical despot we thought he was.

Unfortunately, we cannot escape this Administration. Trump continues to destroy the moral fiber of the United States before our eyes, and in the process, is decimating the country’s global standing with trade partners and enemies alike.

No reasonable argument can prevent him from teeing off if he is threatened or angered. That’s what makes me certain that he cannot end his presidency in the conventional manner.

End Game Scenario 1: Passes Away

What if Trump becomes so angry that he turns as red as a lobster and literally implodes, having a fatal heart attack or a stroke of some sort. In fact, it would have to occur while he is holding his smartphone, Twitter app open in mid-tweet.

Would this scenario really surprise you? It would not shock me to get a news alert about Trump suffering a fatal cardiac event. Sooner or later all of that KFC comes back to haunt you. The president does not look like a healthy man.

End Game Scenario 2: Coup

This seemed very likely when Trump first took office. He speaks like a fascist authoritarian and the Republicans continue to enable this Administration’s brutish approach. But as time passed this year, Trump weakened his position through outbursts. Now a coup d’ état seems less possible.

It would take military support to successfully overthrow the government. While Trump has several generals in his cabinet, they are Americans first. In fact, I feel encouraged by the military’s willingness to defy the President and chart its own path, such as denouncing the Charlottesville white supremacist protest and protecting transgender rights.

Still, one cannot help but feel that Trump has done his best to weaken and destroy the American Democracy. Through authoritarian edicts, nonstop attacks on the free press, and attempts to reward Russia for helping his campaign, Trump’s actions show a total disrespect for democratic norms.

The silver lining of the Trump Administration will be more checks and balances in our Democracy to protect the government from future unhinged presidents. The whole episode certainly makes me respect parliamentarian forms of government a lot more, just saying.

End Game Scenario 3: Impeachment

When will the GOP find its values? The party of Lincoln has almost completed its transformation into the party of Voldemort. The Republicans in power are hesitant to undermine their still un-passed legislative agenda. Charlottesville responses demonstrate that Republican leaders would rather hedge their words instead of acting on principles. This well remain true until the GOP base stops supporting Trump.

Perhaps Bannon’s “war” will create enough strife to rip the Republican rug from underneath Trump’s feet, but I sincerely doubt it. Would Robert Mueller’s investigation produce the reason for Trumpers to abandon their demagogue? It’s questionable. We don’t know how bad Mueller’s report will be. One thing is certain, it’s going to take a long time.

Impeachment is a political process. What Breitbart’s new focus on establishment Republicans and Mueller’s report are more likely to do is inspire more bi-partisan rebukes of Trump in the form of legislation that limits his powers.

One possible scenario: Trump’s base will abandon him if he engages in a war that costs tens of thousands of American lives. When our soldiers die abroad without reason, angst comes home to roost. Vietnam and most recently with the Iraq wars have proven this to be true.

Such a war is highly likely, as demonstrated by Trump’s insane bombastic game of chicken with North Korean despot Kim Jong-un. I could also see Trump starting a war for a different reason. War is a very common way to divert the American public’s attention.

When you are under investigation for obstructing justice and colluding with the Russians, and public criticism mounts for draconian reactionary social policies, well, yes, diversions look good. If there is one thing Trump loves, it’s a good red herring to throw at the public.

So yeah, impeachment. It could happen.

End Game Scenario 4: Resignation

Of all the possible endings to the Trump Administration, this is most likely. Trump quits before he is completely shamed. We have seen this over and over again. Whether it was disbanding his business councils this past week, yielding to Russian sanctions from Congress, or settling the ugly Trump University civil action lawsuit, Trump folds the cards when the writing is on the wall.

When his base abandons him, impeachment seems inevitable, or yes, the Trump business lines start tanking thanks to negative brand impact, that’s when Trump resigns. The bad news: Things have to devolve much further, to the point that Trump can no longer stand it.

He’ll manufacture some reason to quit, and declare his time in the White House a success. Most of us will hurl mud at him on Twitter for his final bogus presidential moment, but a collective sigh of relief will be heard across America.

President Pence will finish the term. America will remember what it’s like to work with a civil conservative (and all of the right wing policies he brings) as opposed to a demented tyrant. Trump’s story will live on in infamy for most, but as a hero to some (poor misguided souls).

I could be wrong, but any of those four scenarios seems much more likely than a normal four or eight year term presidency. After all, there is nothing normal about President Trump.

What do you think?

All of these photos were taken at Trump protests in Washington, DC over the past eight months.

Trump Rule 5150: Deflect via Freak Out

King Trump

Donald Trump tweets most weekday mornings at 7 am (give or take a half hour) in an obvious attempt to direct the day’s news coverage. The over-the-top tweets create great controversy and drama, rallying his core. Similarly, his press conference was a live epic lambast moving from 140 characters to more than an hour of live ranting. These crazy communications deflect attention away from Trump’s real political problems.

Rarely about the actual work performed, bombastic posts and crazy media interactions embellish his accomplishments while often attacking the media corps. In turn, the media scrambles to disprove Trump, and defend themselves.

This misdirection keeps everyone off their game, and in many cases distracts journalists from focusing on core issues like the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. It is the Trump Administration’s favorite red herring. And it works every time.

Consider that Trump’s unhinged media conference on Thursday happened at an opportune time for the young Trump Administration. In the previous five days the young presidency suffered the following problems:

  • The loss of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn due to the growing Russia hack scandal.
  • Andrew Puzden’s failed Labor Secretary nomination.
  • Several additional embarrassing stories about the Trump White House and its staff’s behavior, including an unbelievable roasting by Saturday Night Live.

The ultimate live freak-out turned into a media spectacle, dominating every major news network and even causing conservative news source Fox News to rebuke Trump and his team. Being crazy worked again for Trump. Now everyone is focussed on the President’s mental health , the media, and how dysfunctional the White House has become in just one month.

What happened to the Russia story? Or the bad hires? Everyone I know has been talking about Trump’s crazy presser for the past few days. Mission accomplished!

Accomplishment 2: Solidify the Core

Trump’s mastery of public relations misdirection extends to his messaging. Part of attacking the media includes reinforcing messaging to the Trump core of right-wing extremists and conservatives. Over and over again, you hear the mnemonic telling of fake news, of the heroic people’s President Trump versus the dastardly enemy, the media.

Going back to this week’s presser, Trump’s core saw the ultimate beat down of self-righteous, snotty liberal journalists. Trump supporting Americans and their media outletsthink Trump did just fine, and that the liberal media got their just deserves.

Online, the battle continues. Right wing supporters parrot Trump’s anger, attacking the media and dissenting voices on social media as “snowflake libtards.” Arguments happen, likes occur, and as a result, combatants are rewarded for the attention by their brain: Dopamine is literally released.

As a result, entrenched opinions become firmer, and Trump’s core intensifies its support. He only needs a significant minority to keep his reelection hopes alive.

Not bad for a loco con man.

Acting “5150” in the face of facts benefits Trump. It distracts journalists and perhaps hurts their credibility, though increasingly these attacks help besieged media outlets with higher ratings.

Fighting Off the Crazy

How does one combat this kind of craziness? It takes some courage to go out on social media and state your views, but increasingly this seems to be the digital battlefield for Trump.

Twitter is where he wages his war on most days. Facebook and Twitter are where his core attacks the media and those of us who care to dissent. Thank God the Instagram post doesn’t lend itself as well to Trump’s message

I have decided to reply as much as possible to Trump’s Twitter rants, and contribute to his negative tonality ratings. Afterall, he is a ratings obsessed narcissist. Don’t think he isn’t aware how the conversation is faring online.

Yes, I get called a libtard snowflake, which is funny since I used to be a Republican voter before the Iraq war. Names are all the baby Trumpers have to throw, and it’s pretty easy to ignore, mute, or block them.

Those who are firmly set against Trump must demand accountability from the media and elected representatives. The media must be held a countable to the larger Trump story, which is corporate corruption, conflict of interest, election fraud, and empty promises. With elected officials, find ways to communicate with them, even when they refuse to answer their phones and cancel the town halls.

The Battle of Inches

Wage your battle publicly so it can be seen in peer networks. It is a battle of inches, and you don’t know when you will activate an acquaintance.

Generally, the battle of inches seems to be going the wrong way for Trump. His approval ratings are dropping ever so slowly and are now hovering at or below 40% (His Fox and Friends amigos say under 40%).

If Trump drops below the Mendoza Line (below 30% in political terms), you can expect cracks in the foundation to widen and the GOP to finally stop protecting him. Elected Republicans will feel safer rebuking and perhaps even removing Trump if they know their party base will permit it. This can happen, especially if Trump is unable to fulfill his job promises.

Until then, the burden of responsibility relies on the average citizen to actively support factual reporting, decent government behavior, and of course, resist. And persist.

Originally published on the Huffington Post.

Red Herrings, Misdirection, and the Destructive Art of Spin

All Americans Are Muslims

Don’t kid yourself. When you see Donald Trump and his flacks attacking the media and its accuracy, they are not always protecting his ego. These attacks intend to destroy the credibility of the media, and distract the American public from focusing on the critical issues that threaten our Democracy. The Trump Administration is serving a daily dose of red herrings, misdirection tactics, and spin to the American Public.

Red Herring

Worse, some members of the media are incapable of seeing through it. They take the media war bate like a cupcake waved in front of a child.

Consider how much time the media wasted this week on whether or not to call Donald Trump a liar. Instead of name calling, they should seek the smoking guns that prove Trump is intentionally lying. Regardless of the fine points of proving someone a liar by ethical media terms, Trump’s false words are not the issue. The real issue is the systematic destruction of the American democracy.

Meanwhile, Trump’s spinmasters have taken several actions to directly threaten the United States well-being:

  • Trump single-handedly destroyed U.S. Mexico relations in a matter of 36 hours.
  • He banned more than a hundred million Muslims from entering the United States saying “We don’t want them here,” on International Holocaust Rememberance Day. Think about that.
  • Trump promised an investigation into systematic voter fraud, an intentional move to suppress minority voting eligibility.
  • Replaced the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of National Intelligence on the National Security Council with Alt-right leader Stephen Bannon.
  • The Trump leadership team directly assaulted women’s rights, starting with abortion.
  • We as citizens and members of the media need to focus on the core actions being taken by Donald Trump to destroy the democratic institutions that make the United States of America.

    A Company of Spinners

    King Trump

    Mr. Trump is a malevolent and perhaps disturbed PR genius with zero ethics. His counterparts Stephen Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and Sean Spicer are even worse, taking the art of deception to new lows unseen since the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. This is what happens when you let power-hungry PR people run the country. Retaining power through spin matters more than right actions.

    Let’s be clear. Trump won on an electoral plurality, not a general vote majority. He knows that maintaining the plurality is crucial while he attempts to suppress the majority. That is how he will eventually achieve a stranglehold on national power.

    Misdirection

    Keeping the media on its heals with misdirection and fake drama helps achieve that objective. The misdirection bates the media into attacks so the Trump team can tell their sycophant following the media are liars.

    Journalists are getting played like a violin when they fight with Trump and his three spinning lieutenants about lying. The media drama furthers the Trump cause.

    Then the narrative becomes about the much maligned Trump attacked by a liberal media corps who don’t want him to make America great again. Pathetic, right? But it’s working with the plurality, and therein lies the long-term danger.

    Puncture the Spin

    Proud Muslim and American Military Family

    Jay Rosen had it right in his suddenly frighteningly titled blog pressthink about sending the interns to the white House briefing room. The Trump story is somewhere else.

    The Trump PR machine will continue to spew alternative facts and attack the media as part of its attempts to deceive the American public and implement its malicious agenda. The media should not cooperate, nor should they treat such blatant attempts to deliver spin as news.

    Spin

    Instead, journalists need to focus on the Trump story from outside sources. Trump team tweets and PR announcements are just spin. Prove Trump wrong through sources, documents, and investigative stories.

    The best two political stories I read this week came from investigative reporters. The first was the Washington Post accounting of the acting director of the National Park Service Michael Reynolds about a phone call with Mr. Trump in which the president pressured him to falsify visual evidence about the inauguration crowd size.

    The second story focused on the Republican retreat in Philadelphia this week. Again, the Washington Post obtained private information — this time in form of a tape — about GOP’s concerns on how to repeal Obamacare. The story revealed that the Trump Administration does not have a plan to assist in that effort.

    These types of stories successfully counter the Trump Administration’s spin and puts the President on his heels. Further, when the Trump Administration throws the media “shade”, journalists should simply ignore it. They are empowered by the First Amendment. It is the Trump Administration that has no or should have no credibility.

    A Time to Fight

    We Are Happy You Are Here

    In my opinion, every person with an Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and/or Twitter account that cares about the United States democracy needs to become actively engaged in the political conversation. We contribute to the overall media story. This is a time to fight. Our country’s principles and way of life are endangered.

    Get active. Here are things I am doing to serve our country and combat Trump’s brand of fascism:

  • Volunteering with ACLU Virginia as a strategic advisor.
  • Taking protest photos when I can, time permitting.
  • Turning down pro-Trump related projects, such as photographing an inaugural ball (truth).
  • Participating in pro-Democracy projects like the UnPresidented book effort on Kickstarter (support us, please).
  • And yes, contacting my Congressional representatives by phone, Twitter, and mail.
  • If Trump succeeds in turning our country into an autocratic state, then we have no one to blame but ourselves. Get active.

    Originally published on the Huffington Post.

    Poor Media Literacy Spawns Fake News Crisis

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    Two and half years ago I wrote about failing literacy in America, caused in part by evolving digital media types. The average citizen is losing the ability to understand the written word, and cannot discern quality information online based on text. Never did I imagine that a crisis would come to a fore as quickly as it has with this year’s fake news crisis.

    In 2014 I wrote, “Part of literacy… is being able to delineate quality information from bad data. In the visual world, that includes producing and consuming quality media in a loud environment.”

    Since then we have witnessed the election of Donald Trump, Pizzagate, and the general rise of digital fake news. Today, any persona has the ability to dismiss any other group or media outlet as biased.

    As a result, less trust exists for the media. Even triangulating the facts behind a story does not guarantee the data offered is actual truth. In fact, it takes a chorus of diverse voices to make even the unwilling yield to truth. Still, liars and those who want to refute such stories — propagandists like Donald Trump, for example — can call it a “conspiracy.”

    The ability to widely disseminate bad information and have it shared with trusting peers creates what is now being called a post-truth reality. There is no fact that can withstand the battering of the adamantly wrong and intentionally incorrect. That is scary, my friends.

    Most Adults Cannot Discern Quality Information

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    The average American is not prepared to learn or understand information online. A recent Pew study showed that sixty percent of American adults don’t know whether the information they are consuming online is trustworthy.

    There is no obvious answer for our digital literacy crisis. People are not questioning what they read online. Worse, they are unable to prepare their own children and grandchildren to discern quality information online, either.

    This leaves the imparting of media literacy skills to our schools. As someone currently working in the edtech space, I can tell you that America’s schools are just coming to understand how to best implement online learning. Some schools are very good at it, others don’t even have basic computing devices for their children.

    In addition to understanding how to consume information online, parents and educators must learn and teach how to research the information they are receiving. Questioning information must become second nature. We need to ask questions like:

    • Is this information from a credible source?
    • What data is providing the basis for this story?
    • Is the research reliable and based on statistically relevant data (whether it’s a video of an event or a study of thousands of people)?
    • Are there similar stories and data that support the source?

    These are basic questions that the average American doesn’t ask online. Instead, we simply trust the source who shared that information. Whether it is a peer sending a story via email or a social network algorithm, the online trust economy created by digital media channels has demonstrated its truest weakness.

    Slanted News

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    As social media has risen and traditional media have lost market share, news outlets have moved to tabloidesque journalism from formerly trustworthy brands. We have also seen media fracture to cater to smaller demographics, which in turn has created polarized community groups. Most media outlets serve their smaller constituencies with sensational stories drummed up to captivate the human mind. Click bait rules the day.

    A younger, smaller media corps with less seasoned editors behind them now write sensational headlines with shaky content. These stories lack the factual quality that even a second tier news outlet would have demanded two decades ago.

    Unfortunately, people fall prey to the sensational. The human mind processes it as entertainment and humor, and then latches onto it as fact. The human mind is naturally attracted to the sensational, and when they share this “news” they receive endorphin affirmation from likes and comments.

    Then there are those who seek to sway minds with fake news, propaganda disguised as tabloid news. These stories have been deployed through the interwebs, and in actuality through the centuries, with great damage to society.

    Today, sensational and fake news stories spread like wildfire thanks to the Internet. Facebook has moved from its original intent to connect people to a viral mechanism to misinform them.

    A cycle has been created with likes falling along party lines. With bad information comes unwieldy results. And here we are, a world where the very truth itself can be debated and hucksters can use propaganda and smeer tactics to convince the public they are right.

    My News Experiment

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    In the wake of the Trump election, I found myself needing to read more my then narrow group of political news media, primarily CNN, the New York Times, and Politico. I started reading more conservative outlets, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News, as well as the Washington Post and USA Today. In addition, I tried Breitbart News but found it to be so malicious and ridiculous that I could not stomach it. Don’t get cocky, liberals, I could say the same thing about Jezebel.

    My overall assessment surprised me. While groups of media tended to cover similar stories — e.g. “liberal media” outlets the Washington Post, CNN and the New York Times and the conservative group of the WSJ, and Fox News — none of them reported stories in the same way. Here is a masthead by masthead review:

    CNN: Sensational and over the top. Pure tabloid, almost none of it seems well grounded.

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    Fox News: Sometimes grounded, but extremely slanted towards the conservative. Runs a fair amount of link-bait chum that leans towards the malicious. When Fox owns a story favoring moderates or liberals, you know it’s true. They tend to be slow to publish stories that show Trump in a negative light.

    New York Times: Very grounded, but written with a liberal slant. There’s great journalism here, but like Fox, when a story favors the conservative, it tends to be when the facts are in their favor, AND the story is big.

    POLITICO: Pretty balanced in its news coverage with the exception of representing the political establishment (as a trade rag would be). So Trump coverage has been, but is increasingly less so, shocked and sensational. The zeitgeist has been accepted.

    USA Today: The rare moderate masthead, USA Today plays it in the middle, and reports when facts are available. A fair barometer for breaking news.

    Wall Street Journal: Similar to the New York Times, this paper is very grounded with great journalism, albeit a conservative slant. The conservatism on display here is that of big business, and as such it remains committed to facts, and will print a story favoring liberalism or anti-Trump if it is proven true or if it is pro-business. All political stories seem to be on delay here, a clear sign of careful vetting.

    Washington Post: Grounded, but not as much as the New York Times. It still has a penchant for running the sensational, and can’t resist a good Kelly-Anne Conway quote (yuck). I take their anti-Trump slant as a partisan view.

    As a result of broadening my spectrum, I do not trust CNN anymore. It’s pure junk. I also am not likely to trust Fox News and sadly, I don’t trust the Washington Post as much as I used to. In addition, if both the New York Times AND the Wall Street Journal agree on a story then it is almost certainly true.

    Low Quality Information Creates a Wild and Ignorant Society

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    The biggest take away from my informal experiment was the lack of integrity several of these outlets have when it comes to delivering “news” to their stakeholders. In the case of the more tabloid-esque outlets, it’s clear clicks and eyeballs matter more than the quality of journalism. They are purveyors of the sensational.

    Perhaps more disconcerting, these outlets are some of the most consumed news producers in the United States. The study does not include the less reputable outlets that spawned the fake news crisis debated so vigorously over the past two months.

    We have seen the results, and they are wild. Though people read and watch news online, because of their information sources, they remain ignorant. And worse, they are adamant about being informed.

    To date we’ve seen Facebook offer algorithmic promises at resolving the issue. But given the intrinsic desire of the human mind to fancy the sensational, will it be enough? I don’t think so.

    In the end, we must look at the root cause. And to overcome, we must come to know ourselves. We must educate ourselves to discern online information and then demand quality. Digital literacy is the answer, in my opinion, not algorithms to protect people from their own inability to understand information.

    What do you think?

    The Photographer’s Choice: Favorite and Unpublished #FYPx Shots

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    FYPx Influencers from Left to Right Mario Villaneuva, Victoria Ramos, Victoria Gonzales, Edgar Woo, Juan Flores, Jacob Fu, Faith Eve Bee, and Erin McGrady.

    Last September, I had the great pleasure of serving the National Park Foundation as a volunteer photographer for its Find Your Park Expedition (#FYPx) 2016. The trip featured eight super Instagram influencers, and fantastic National Parks and Historic Sites, including Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Alcatraz Island, Rosie the Riveter WII Home Front National Historic Park, San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, and John Muir National Historic Site. It was an incredible way to be of service, especially during the National Park Service’s 100 year anniversary!

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    F Market Castro

    My friend Joe Newman interviewed me about the assignment and what I thought of it. It was incredible to work with these influencers, and as I told Joe, “‘The National Park Service can tell you how awesome their parks are, and it sounds interesting. But when you witness this through a friend or a trusted contact’s online media, well now you are a believer.”

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    Mandatory Ranger Pointing Pic

    I have published some pics that would be most popular online, but not necessarily my favorite ones. So I thought I would add to the narrative by choosing my favorite pictures, particularly ones I have yet to publish. There are a few familiar ones, but generally these are brand new or have been seen in only one of my networks rather than across all of my properties.

    So with that, let’s go! And if you want Yosemite shots, just scroll to the end.

    Golden Gate Recreation Area (Including REI Bike Tour)

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    Golden Gate at Sunset (probably my best shot of the trip)

    hang-time
    Hang Time

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    Walking a Thin Line

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    The Underbelly

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    Super Tanker

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    Hiding in the Shade

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    Palace of Fine Arts

     

    scale
    Scale

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    Admiring the Architecture

    Alcatraz

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    Boat to Alcatraz

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    Tunnel Under Alcatraz

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    Sadness

    cell-blocl
    Cell Block

    smoke-stack
    Prison Factory

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    Ranger Walking

    San Francisco Maritime

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    Tugboat

    to-the-deck
    To the Deck

    crates
    Crates

    engine
    Engine

    Rosie the Riveter

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    Rosie

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    A Surviving Rosie

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    Rosie the Silhouette

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    Rosie, the Facility

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    94-year old ranger Betty Reid Soskin

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    The View from Richmond

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    Photobombing

    Yosemite

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    El Capitan

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    Half Dome

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    Inspired

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    Vernal Falls

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    Four Mile Trail

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    A Place to Breath

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    Yosemite Valley

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    Channeling Ansel

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    The Majestic Lodge

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    Walking Amongst Giants

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    The Mist Trail

     

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    Playing Amongst the Stars.