Laurie Penland has more than 25 years of experience as a professional photographer. She's captured images of the Amazon, the Poles, and many places in between. Penland's love for the underwater realm brought her to her current position as a Diving Officer for the Smithsonian Institution. She has a Bachelor of Science in Art, with a minor in Photography from James Madison University and has taken multiple photography courses at the Corcoran School of Art.
The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
It blew in for two solid days: a flotilla of plastic forks, soda bottles, rubber gloves, and other refuse. I tried to pick everything up off the beach, but when I turned around, you couldn’t tell that I had cleaned at all...
I am once again leaving my familiar world behind and descending into the abyss below. The first dive of an entirely new expedition is the most magical. I am a member of a scientific research dive team studying biological...