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Now on Video: Inside Nat Geo’s Apostle Islands Story

Michigan Island Lighthouse

What is better than having our own Apostle Islands National Lakeshore featured in National Geographic Magazine? Hearing the “Story Behind the Story” from award-winning photographer David Guttenfelder and acclaimed journalist Stephanie Pearson!

More than 300 people joined our webinar for a behind the scenes look at the 18-day sea kayaking trip that was captured in the March 2023 print issue of National Geographic Magazine and free online with email signup.

A video recording of the event is now available, complete with Stephanie’s fascinating insights into the Nat Geo publication process and David’s stunning images and story of the call he received from NPLSF Executive Director Tom Irvine that got him hooked on the Apostles.

We are so thankful to David and Stephanie for being part of this event, and deeply appreciate the many people who joined us—and made the story possible.

This webinar was co-hosted by National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation

and Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

For more about the event speakers, see their biographies below. You can also hear a moving interview with David on the National Geographic Podcast where he shares what it means to cover war zones and world conflict, and the healing power of nature.


David Guttenfelder


David Guttenfelder is an award-winning photojournalist focusing on global geopolitics and conservation. He spent 20 years as a photojournalist for the Associated Press, during which he was based in Nairobi, Abidjan, New Delhi, Jerusalem, and Tokyo, covering news in more than 75 countries around the world. He has photographed multiple stories in National Geographic magazine, including topics as diverse as migratory songbirds in North Africa, the damming of the Mekong River, hidden North Korea, and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Guttenfelder is an eight-time World Press Photo Award winner, 2013 ICP Infinity Prize winner for photojournalism, Pictures of the Year International and NPPA Photographer of the Year, and winner of Overseas Press Club of America awards. for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news and feature photography.

Stephanie Pearson


Stephanie Pearson is a freelance writer, contributing editor to Outside magazine, and author of "100 Great American Parks," published by National Geographic. After earning her master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she served on Outside's editorial staff for 12 years.

Pearson has also logged many hours in the field from Brazil to New Zealand to the Arctic and has received four Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation. Three of her Outside features have been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing series.

Webinar Host

Tom Irvine

National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF) Executive Director

Tom Irvine is a 5th generation Lake Superiorite - in fact, his great-grandfather and great-great grandfather were lighthouse keepers in the Apostle Islands! Tom spent most of his career in industrial services and manufacturing, started a men’s pro-cycling team, a skiwear brand, and was CEO of Faribault Woolen Mill Company. He splits his time between Lake Superior and the Twin Cities.


About the NPLSF The National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF) exists to provide financial support for projects and programs that preserve the natural resources and cultural heritage of the five Lake Superior national parks: Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, Grand Portage National Monument, Isle Royale National Park, Keweenaw National Historical Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Funded through grants and private donations, NPLSF projects and programs ensure that these great parks and historic sites are maintained for the enjoyment of all current and future visitors.


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