Read more about the Keegan Traveling Fellowship

My trail begins in the El Cerrado Hotspot, and then traces its way through hotspots called the Tropical Andes, the Tumbes-Chocó Magdalena, New Zealand, the Western Ghats, Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands, Eastern Himalaya, and the Guinean Forests of West Africa. I shall be at most sites for a month to a month and a half.

The majority of my time will be invested in either a special project to help that NGO or in assisting with that NGO’s ongoing activities. For example, I will be creating signage for an endangered primate rehabilitation center in Ghana, creating promotional videos for birding reserves across South American, field assisting with snow leopards in Nepal, creating a short documentary about the ties between biological and cultural diversity in Bolivia, monitoring and performing habitat restoration for native species in New Zealand and on Cousin Island, contributing to community outreach efforts with lemurs in Madagascar…

I received this neck pillow as a gift from a friend in Mexico when I was on the scarlet macaw reintroduction project in Chiapas. I personalised him by embroidering his beak with the marks of my training macaw, Ikal, and vowed to take a picture with him every time I was on the move in my Keegan journey– crossing borders by plane or by bus.  Follow Ikal’s frequent flier journey.


View a short video about my Keegan Traveling Fellowship: IndieGogo: Biodiversity across the World: a photographic slice of life


What do you pack for a year long journey, when you know you have to travel light?


  • Peter Abbott

    Hi Emma,

    There are a few other things you have carried with you on this epic adventure as well as your travel kit.. There is your passion, your personal commitment, your thirst for experience and knowledge, combined with your immense ability to absorb all you encounter. To touch and enrich the lives of those you meet on this unique journey, experiences passed on so freely through the quality and energy of your photography, your transfer of knowledge and places visited You have also taken with you the many very pleasant and valuable qualities that I see as very much your own awesome personality…..

    Take Care….


    February 8, 2014
    • Emma

      Miss you, Peter! You’re the best! Can’t wait until you get to see my kiwi translocation video… just working it through with Ken now! xxoo

      August 18, 2014

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© Copyright Emma Steigerwald | Vanderbilt Traveling Fellow