023: Amy Marquis and Dana Romanoff: Celebrating Powerful And Diverse Human Experiences In The National Parks

Amy MarquisWhat can the Nature Effect do for you? Join us on Amy and Dana’s journey as they share their experience with the outdoors and how it has an impact in their business and life today.

Amy Marquis, Co-Director & Founder

As a writer, editor, photo editor and film director with nearly 15 years of editorial experience, including nine years atNational Parks Magazine – Amy is uniquely poised to access and produce the most compelling stories about the national parks today. Her award winning Yosemite film, “The Way Home,” inspired the NPX series. She is the editor of The Digital Naturalist, a blog dedicated to improving advocacy video storytelling, teaches a filmmaking class at Boulder Digital Arts, and recently produced a short film for The New York Times.

Dana RomanoffDana Romanoff, Co-Director & Digital Photographer

Dana is a visual storyteller whose images grace the pages of National Geographic, The New York Times and publications worldwide. While working at The Charlotte Observer, Dana was among the team recognized as a runner-up to the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. She’s received international awards and recognition including the Anthropographia Multimedia and Human Rights Award, which brought her film, “No Man’s Land” to worldwide human-rights gatherings. Dana has directed and shot advocacy films appearing at live-events from packed stadiums to film festivals around the globe.

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Nature Quote / Mantra

Nature is the most even playing field you can find. The trees don’t judge where you come from or what language you speak. The river won’t look at your economic value. The sun won’t look at you any differently for walking in a certain way. And the mosquitos certainly don’t care who you are, they’re still going to take what they need from you. – Juan Martinez from Love In The Tetons. 

Childhood Memory

Amy grew up on a street next to the woods. When she was five years old, she decided she was going to sleep outside on a yellow lounger. She got scared and went back inside, but that experience helped instill in her a goal to sleep outside.

When Dana was 8 or 9 her parents sent her on a camping trip with 10 kids for 3 weeks. Their way of bathing was jumping in the lake, but one of the highlights of the trip was a 5 day canoeing trip. She had never been to the bathroom in an outhouse and held it for 3 days…. listen to the story, because I can’t do it justice here.

Outdoor Experience

After a car accident in 2008 that forced Amy to rely on a walker for a couple of weeks, she had an assignment with National Parks Magazine in Big Bend National Park. She remembers watching the sunset looking over the Rio Grande and seeing Mexico on the other side. It meant so much to her because she was in nature again and could do what she hadn’t been able to do for a long time.

Dana wanted to be Indiana Jones! An adventure guide. She went through a training with the National Outdoor Leadership School. For 28 Days, a group of ten hiked in the Olympic Mountains. She remembers the last part of the trip hiding in bushes as other hikers were on the trail. This was the first time she had seen anyone other than her group. She distincly remembers how she could smell the chemical scents of those passing by.

Nature Effect

Amy says everything they are doing with the National Park Experience is about the Nature Effect and what happens when people spend quality time in nature. They do a lot of post production and other work in the office so they make sure to have hike meetings every day.

This is the first time Dana has incorporated her business with nature and she just loves sharing the stories of how nature has an impact in the lives of others as well, but to wake up at the bottom of a canyon or in a Navajo home, she says it’s just a great day at the office.

Inspiration For The National Park Experience

While working with the National Park Magazine, Amy had become involved in multimedia. She traveled out to Yosemite for 6 weeks to meet with a Park Ranger, Shelton Johnson, and directed a short film about him. Shelton would be hosting a group of African American ladies for a few days and Amy was there to capture their story.

Dana met Amy when Amy was in the proccess of moving to Boulder, Colorado. Four years later they decided to collaborate on NPX. Dana’s experience in story telling complimented Amy’s writing skills and Dana wanted to share how the demographics of those who visit the park doesn’t represent the demographics of the United States. She wanted to share and invite other people to have the experience and be a part of the National Park story.

Listen to the show to hear the rest of the story…

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