Bejat McCracken is the Executive Director and Photographer for Finding
Species. She leads teams of scientists and photographers on projects where
she has developed relationships, sought funding and created the plan. She
photographs species throughout the United States, processes photographs and
devises new plans for efficiency. She has accompanied and led numerous
scientific expeditions to the Ecuadorian Amazon to photo-document
amphibians, reptiles, insects and orchids since 1997, spending 5 years dedicated to her work in the field. Her collection of photographs contains around 60,000 photographs with many new species and undescribed species. Working with scientists particularly in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador, she has provided compelling photographs to assist in protecting this fragile ecosystem.
She serves as the artist, photographer, field assistant and treasurer of The Tadpole Organization (www.tadpoleorg.org). Her work can be seen in various publications like Science Magazine, PlosOne, Phyllomedusa and American Museum Novitates, to name just a few. She has received many awards for her photographs from such organizations as National Wildlife Federation, NAAEE and Albert I. Pierce Foundation and various other organizations, where she is featured on their websites, publications, books, calendars and pamphlets.
A graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, TX, she received her BFA in painting in 1997 upon which she received many fellowships and grants to travel to the Amazon and throughout South America. Her work as an artist (www.bejat.com) has ranged from paintings to murals and sculptures regarding the environment to evoke awareness and compassion, working with children individually and in local schools to educate them through art in various ways like murals, presentations and private art lessons. She exhibits throughout the United States in personal collections, galleries and alternative spaces and curated her own gallery in Austin from 2002-2008 called B Studio.