Witnessing Climate Change: An exhibit of Student Photography

January 5 – January 31, 2022


A display of 57 photographs by local high school students illustrating climate change.

Students submitting photos were asked to pick one of three topics to illustrate:

  • Nature: illustrating climate-related impacts on air, water and land surrounding our towns.
  • Society: illustrating impacts on human health, lifestyles, infrastructure and the economy
  • Individual & Community solutions: individual or group efforts to address climate crisis


Judges: Jen Kano of the Upper Cape Camera Club, and Anya Zolkos, who a climate science research assistant at Woodwell Climate Research Center. Ms. Zolkos grew up in a Siberian town near the Arctic Circle and participated in climate science art projects as a student.


Awards & Judges’ Comments


1st place, tie: Lili Zac of Falmouth High School (FHS)

Beautifully done photograph depicting both the natural beauty of the pond and capturing the algae in the shallows that threaten the health of the pond’s eco system. –Jen Kano

The kettle ponds that have been on Cape Cod since its creation, are being threatened at an alarming rate. Each year algae blooms, and other untimely events slowly take years off the life of the pond. All the species within the pond, if this continues to happen it will become irrelevant and deceased.  –Lili Zac


1st place, tie: Dylan Bowen of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MV)

Beautiful photo showing a favorite place that is threatened by sea level rise. –Anya Zolkos

Equinox Pond is a photo I took up in Manchester, Vermont. I was hiking with my family back in 2019 in April. It was so peaceful to sit in the dirt and photograph the area. This beautiful pond is actually surrounded by 914 acres of protected land as its a part of the Equinox Preservation trust. And it sits right at the bottom of Mount Equinox which reflects right off the water in the photograph. I chose this photo because it is one of the only places that makes me feel at peace, but it is also a part of nature and the environment. I would hate to see its air, land, water, and wildlife effected by climate change. –Dylan Bowen

2nd place: Nate Drury of FHS

This photo nicely documents the erosion caused by destructive high storm water that may be becoming more frequent due to the effects of climate change. – Jen Kano

Great demonstration of persisting nature and power of erosion and climate change. –Anya Zolkos

A beach side path has begun to fall apart as the water comes closer and closer to shore each year, yet some plants still cling on for dear life. –Nate Drury

3rd place, tie: Anne Jeffrey of Falmouth Academy (FA)

The importance of bees, in not only our eco system, but as a critical part of our agricultural system is frequently over looked. This photo beautifully reminds us of their existence. – Jen Kano

Over the past twenty years the population of bees in the United States has declined rapidly. A leading factor into why this decline might be happening is climate change. Bumblebees are sensitive to heat waves and fluctuating weather, in warmer weather it is possible for them to overheat and die. Global average temperature has risen about .17°F per decade since 1900. Along with warmer temperatures, bee populations are also possibly declining because of starvation due to indirect changes in flora linked to climate change. –Anne Jeffrey

3rd place, tie: Ethan Delory of FHS

A good reminder the climate change doesn’t only cause change in weather and sea level rise. It is also a threat to native species in our backyard. –Anya Zolkos

This image is of a local plant off of the shore of Nobska lighthouse. Much like the image prior it highlights the many native plants the cape houses. Our surroundings on the cape are some to be cherished and adored but they are currently at risk with the state of our climate. They are not only at risk due to the change in seasons but also the threat of invasive species that thrive off of warmer weather. –Ethan Delory

Honorable mention: Dillon Fondren of Falmouth Academy

Such a beautiful image! And how creative to look deeply enough to see and capture it. It will take thinking outside of the box to solve our climate change issues, and this photo perfectly illustrates seeing from a unique view point. – Jen Kano

This photo is a picture of while I am on the Steamship Authority ferry, looking at a beautiful sunset. As stunning as the sky was, I was reminded of last year when there were wildfires in Canada, which also had made the sky amazing. It makes me think, beauty does come with a price. –Dillon Fondren

Honorable mention: Eleanor Ralston of FHS

Kudos for seeing the abstract beauty of the ordinary simply by looking from a different perspective. Is climate change responsible for the lateness of the arrival of cold weather to our area this fall? A provocative question to contemplate while enjoying this image. –Jen Kano

With warmer temperatures seasonal changes come later and later in the year. –Eleanor Ralston

Honorable mention: Ella Ahern of FHS

Nicely composed shot of this dead horseshoe crab. And a reminder that humans are not the only species on the plant affected by climate change. –Jen Kano

My photo of a horseshoe crab shell relates to the impact of climate change on nature because while I was walking on a beach, I saw many fragments of horseshoe crab shells. Climate change or human impact (via destruction of habitat, pollution of the sea) could have an effect on their abundance on the beach I was at (Trunk River Beach) because they may not be able to adapt to the changes to their environment enough to survive without difficulty.  –Ella Ahern

Honorable mention: Emily Allen of FHS

A nicely shot image highlighting the damage water can do to infrastructure. – Jen Kano


In this picture, erosion from rising seal levels is causing this stone wall on Penikese Island to crumble and deteriorate. The shoreline of rocks illuminates the increase in storms due to climate change. The rocks have been smoothed over and there is a great number of them lining the shore. Nature is asking us to be aware of its suffering caused by climate change and take action. –Emily Allen

Honorable mention: Cate Charette of FHS

I like this photo because it is very dynamic. It shows movement of the water and a person. Just like our planet always changing. As for the comment on the fog, representing the future, “a foggy unknown,” I agree there are lots of unknowns, however people have a choice. – Anya Zolkos

The foggy distance represents an unseen future in our climate as we break apart our world as we know it through excess CO2 and land destruction. This bridge located in an area in current danger in my home town. With storms more rapidly aggressive, the location is prone to destruction and change. Taken on a 35mm camera, this photo represents a point in our time where the future is truly a foggy unknown. –Cate Charette


1st place, tie: Dylan Bowen of MV

At first glance, this image looks like an interesting black and white abstract. A closer look reveals a person in a chair underwater. It works as both abstract art and a commentary on our possible fate as climate change cause sea level to rise. –Jen Kano

Rock Bottom is a photo I took in Vineyard Haven on the Vineyard of a community swimming pool in 2019. I was experimenting with water photography when I captured this photograph. I had a friend of mine sit in a lawn chair we sunk to the bottom of the pool. And being film I didn’t know what to expect at all after developing it. I was happily surprised with the outcome. I chose this photo because I see it as a representation of rising sea levels as a result of climate change. As ridiculous as this image is I hope to not make it a reality. –Dylan Bowen

1st place, tie: Ethan Delory of FHS

This picture does not scream climate change at you and that is exactly why I chose it. For a lot of people, especially those who make economical and political decisions, climate change is not an existential threat, at least not yet. But it doesn’t mean it is not happening. –Anya Zolkos

This is a picture of Woods-Hole harbor at around 5 o’clock in October of 2021. I chose this picture, this place, this time for no other reason than the peacefulness it holds. It is quiet and calm, but what is not being directly seen is the slowly rising water level. Behind the fence in the forefront, there is a wall in which the water almost fully covers its stone. This connects to the category because we as a society don’t always see the imitate effects of climate change but that doesn’t mean the unseen rise isn’t present within our community; our daily lives.–Ethan Delory


1st place: Spencer Goldsmith of FA

An anonymous crowd under nature’s canopy with a strong message about what we can accomplish if we work together. A powerful, thought-provoking image. –Jen Kano

This picture, with a bold message demonstrates young people being fed up with governmental inaction and coming together in solidarity with other youth of the world. – Anya Zolkos

This photo was taken during a Fridays for Future demonstration, where we gathered and marched to raise awareness of climate change. This type of event truly shows how much a community, city, or, in the case of Fridays for Future, generation can come together to fight for what they believe in and work to make real change. Fridays for Future and its founder, Greta Thunberg have gained even more attention in recent weeks as they staged major protests in Scotland during COP26 meetings providing a renewed relevance to this image.–Spencer Goldsmith

Honorable mention: Spencer Goldsmith of FA

This is my personal favorite of all the images. While it doesn’t directly depict anything about climate change, to me it is a powerful statement about how small each of us is in the face of the enormity of our man-made problems (including climate change), and in spite of this fact we must each do our part no matter how overwhelming the task may seem. –Jen Kano

Though the figurine was intentionally placed for this image, the can was not. It was simply tossed onto the side of the road as a piece of litter, with little regard for the impact it would have on the environment. I wanted to draw attention to the negative impacts of littering and pollution on our local environments, and promote positive action by members of the community to improve and protect this beautiful place we call home. –Spencer Goldsmith

Special Thanks to judges Jen Kano and Anya Zolkos; Walter Knox, Upper Cape Camera Club (UCCC) president, who printed, mounted and framed all the photos; UCCC members Jeannine Lavoie and Frank Fernino, who hung the show; and Bob Gould.

Participants in the exhibit:

Falmouth High School

Sam Collins

Siena Girouard

Katherine Litton

Morgan Chaves

Isabella Correia

Sophia Steele

Eleanor Ralston

Katelyn Gonsalves

Madison Conn

Cate Charette

Nate Drury

Daelyn Peters

Asa Gummow

Nya Furey

Colleen Caswell

Eva Reif

Chloe Champani

Max April

Kyleigh Waggett

Ava Norris

Ella Ahern

Hannah Birmingham

Ethan Delory

Emily Allen

Drea Perez

Casey McGowen


Falmouth Academy

Mia Galvam

Spencer Goldsmith

Oona Carroll

Declan Lane

Yaz Audrey

Anne Jeffrey

Dillon Fondren

Junke Lin

Xinyu Tian

Daisy Hancock


Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School

Dylan Bowen

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Falmouth Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.