NWC News Desk

National Geographic writer with ties to Powell talks about his latest work March 1 at NWC

Posted February 17, 2010

POWELL, Wyo. - Global journalist and photographer Mark Jenkins will talk Monday, March 1, in Powell about his latest award-winning work in Africa. His 90-minute PowerPoint presentation, "Guns, Gorillas and Laptops," begins at 3 p.m. in the Rendezvous Lounge of the DeWitt Student Center at Northwest College.

Jenkins' program takes the audience deep into the world of one of the most endangered species on earth, Africa's mountain gorilla. Through award-winning photography, Jenkins unveils a dangerous journey into Virunga National Park, in the eastern Congo, to determine who has been killing the mountain gorillas.

"In the process of this expedition," Jenkins says, "we learn how all of us are in fact intimately connected to the Congo's extraordinary mountain gorillas, and how their fate is the fate of humanity itself."

His story about the gorillas, which first appeared in National Geographic magazine under the title "Who Murdered the Mountain Gorillas," won the 2009 National Magazine Award for photojournalism and will soon be made into a BBC documentary starring Natalie Portman.

Surprisingly enough, this global journalist-who covers the world writing about geopolitical issues from landmines in Cambodia to HIV/AIDS in Botswana, ethnic cleansing in Burma to mountaineering in Pakistan-has family ties to Powell. He's married to Powell native Sue Ibarra.

A field staff writer for National Geographic, Jenkins is also a writer-in-residence at the University of Wyoming and critically acclaimed author. His four books, "A Man's Life," "The Hard Way," "To Timbuktu" and "Off The Map," have all been widely praised and translated.

He's been published in over 50 national and international magazines and newspapers and has been interviewed by Anderson Cooper 360, Good Morning America, The Crier Report, CNN, PBS, BBC and NPR. He's also spoken on countless radio programs.

In 2008 he won a Maggie for his story about panic in Backpacker magazine, and his book "A Man's Life" won the Banff Mountain Literature Award. In 2006 Jenkins won the Lowell Thomas Award for both best adventure travel article and best environmental tourism article. His stories have been extensively anthologized, as well as included in three consecutive Best American Travel Writing annuals.

Jenkins' presentation in Powell is sponsored by the Northwest College International Studies Program, which will also provide refreshments. Admission is free.