“In all my travels, if there was one place that was as breathtaking as it was life-changing, it was Antarctica. There is no other place with a landscape so dramatic, so stark, that it rattles and bedazzles you all at once. At the time that I took this picture, I couldn’t believe that there existed a place so majestic and that I was fortunate enough to experience it in my lifetime. But just as it is mesmerizing, Antarctica is also the place where you can most tangibly see the devastating environmental impact of human evolution. The indigenous species in Antarctica don’t care about the beauty of their environment because they’re too busy trying to survive global warming. With increasing ocean temperatures and decreasing icecaps, penguins (including the Gentoo, shown here at Paradise Harbor) are hard-pressed to find food or habitable havens so crucial for their subsistence. I was lucky enough to experience the grandeur of Antarctica, but if we’re not careful, the next generation might not be so fortunate.”

—Lokesh Todi ’09, Kathmandu, Nepal