MEET THE TEAM
We are a collection of skilled people with experience in photojournalism, filmmaking, audio recording, science communications, project management, biology, zoology and more. Our shared passion is crafting stories of urban coyotes that encourage people to think, question, and connect with the urban wilderness all around them.
Initiative Director, Contributing Photographer
If there is a single species on this planet who will test our own mettle as humans, who pushes us to understand instead of judge, to study instead of kill, to coexist instead of dominate, to become more thoughtful and less fearful, it is the coyote. I appreciate any animal with the audacity to thrive in the face of human persecution, and through that very persistence give us opportunity after opportunity to improve ourselves as people and as neighbors.
WEBSITE : JaymiHeimbuch.com
Contributing Photographer, Filmmaker
Coyotes symbolize parallels experienced by marginalized society, and have revealed biases of what’s considered acceptable nature in our cities. I hope that by spending time immersed in the coyote’s world, we can solve the mysteries of how they’re so good at what they do, and learn a lot about ourselves in the process. After all, if we want others to learn to live with animals in their midst, like lions, elephants or leopards, shouldn’t we do the same right here at home?
WEBSITE : MorganHeim.com
Community Relations Specialist, Contributing Photographer
The coyote is an incredibly smart and resilient creature that problem solves its way through life. For some, however, this animal can strike a great deal of controversy- especially in our urban areas. We’re working to shift this mindset and empower individuals to take action on behalf of this misunderstood species. It’s time to get to know the real coyote!
FACEBOOK : facebook.com/melanielynnhill
Living on the urban fringe of a small town I hear coyotes almost every night and in the daylight see their tracks cross my yard along the same path as the mule deer, California quail and raccoons; all of this is evidence that we have brought our domesticated world into their long established ecosystem. Helping the Urban Coyote Initiative is one way I can give back to my wild neighbors and learn more about positive ways to co-exist.
LINKEDIN : linkedin.com/johanna-madjedi
Coyotes are the definition of survivors. Persecuted since the times of Lewis and Clark, they still persist. Today, about 500,000 coyotes are killed each year — that’s about one coyote every minute. For no good reason. I am honored to voice a positive view about coyotes that they truly deserve, especially as they make a living amongst us.
WEBSITE : PumaPix.com
Coyotes have a mysterious appeal. They look at you as if they know something you don’t. They are romanticized and demonized and I’m looking forward to learning more about their habits and telling their stories. I’m often drawn to human-wildlife conflict stories when making films. There is much to be learned from the relationships between creatures and I believe through storytelling we can make progress in mitigating these conflicts.
WEBSITE : PongoMediaProductions.com
Coyotes are expanding their native range and settling new habitats, and it’s happening very quickly. If we pay attention, we can observe an apex predator colonize new territory and see the effect that coyotes have on native ecosystems, and the animals and people who inhabit them. I think this is a unique opportunity, and I intend to bear witness and document this story as it unfolds.
WEBSITE : IvanKuraev.com
Jouko van der Kruijssen
Urban coyotes have the unique ability to lay bare the complete spectrum of attitudes people display toward the natural world. In relatively small geographical areas they expose the lovers, the haters, the oblivious, the curious, the blank slates, the artistic, the spiritual, the careless, the protectors and everyone in between. This unique intersection of shared physical space and a concentrated mosaic of human reactions almost condemns coyotes to a role of ambassadorship between the human population and the natural. Their grace and resilience are what will make them succeed in this role and turn haters into lovers and the careless into protectors.
WEBSITE : SFWildlifePhotography.com