UCLA faculty members Allison Carruth, Jon Christensen and Ursula Heise are working to change the way we explore and talk about environmental issues. A hummingbird showed up in the shot. - UCLA/Rebecca Kendall
Media relations officer Rebecca Kendall captured more than her intended subjects when she photographed three new UCLA faculty members who specialize in the environment.
A hummingbird flew into the shot at just the right second, stopped and held its pose. The unexpected intrusion of nature actually fit nicely into the story. The professors — Allison Carruth, Jon Christensen and Ursula Heise — recently moved from Stanford University to help bolster UCLA's expertise in environmental humanities, an emerging interdisciplinary field that includes historians, literary and new media scholars, philosophers and art historians.
They focus on the many roles that culture — and cultural differences — play in how societies define nature, understand particular ecosystems and respond, both politically and scientifically, to environmental crises. You can read more on the topic at UCLA Today.
The hummingbird is not really peeking into Christensen's ear — it actually stopped a few feet in front of him. Next time you are around the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability in La Kretz Hall, keep your eyes open. You may be surprised.
Below is the original photograph uncropped.