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About & Contact


Head shot photo of the photographer, Jennifer Anderson-Cruz

I am a retired restoration ecologist stationed in the American Midwest, where most of my nature photography is focused. A career of restoring native ecosystems, while also addressing the needs of rare flora and fauna, gives my artwork a unique perspective. Each photograph captures a story, whether I'm highlighting important ecological functions, exposing the scars left by past disturbances, or documenting the resilience and return of Midwest wilderness areas.

I grew up in the State of Iowa along the Upper Mississippi River (Midwest, USA). I was intensely interested in flora and fauna from a very young age, which blossomed into a very rewarding professional career as an ecosystem restoration ecologist. Over 18 years, I worked for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in the states of Illinois, Georgia, and Iowa. My academic background consists of the following:

  • Associates of Art and Associates of Science Degrees from Scott Community College, Bettendorf, Iowa
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology from MaryCrest International University, Davenport, Iowa.
  • Master of Science degree in Biology from Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois.
  • I also pursued a PhD in Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University, but took a career promotion prior to completing a dissertation.


I'm a retired restoration ecologist based in the Midwest, now focused on sharing nature photography that tells an ecological story, our natural history, image by image. Compared to mountains, deserts, rainforests, oceans and seas, the American Midwest wilderness receives relatively little notice on the world stage. It is my duty to reframe how people see and interact with this unnoticed treasure, the most endangered ecosystem in the nation.

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