Nature In Your Backyard Photo Competition Winners

‘All the Small Things,’ Photography Contest winning photograph by Matthew Olivero of Albuquerque

‘Leave Me Alone,’ Student Division winning photograph by Levi Smith of Rio Rancho


The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) NatureScapes gallery sponsors a photo contest each year that encourages contestants to examine and understand the natural beauty of New Mexico. This year’s theme, “Nature in Your Backyard” invited photographers to explore and re-discover the nature in their backyards.

The winner of the 2016 New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science NatureScapes photography competition is Albuquerque resident Matthew Olivero for his photo “All the Small Things”.

First place in the student division was awarded to Levi Smith from Los Ranchos for his photo, “Leave Me Alone.”

Judges selected the winners from nearly 60 submissions. Along with the winners, 30 other photographs were selected to participate in an exhibition at the Museum, which opened Oct. 21, and runs through Jan. 30, 2017.

“This contest is getting more popular every year” said Dr. Ayesha Burdett, curator for the exhibit. “Our vision is to inspire a greater appreciation and understanding of the natural world. Our judges did a great job narrowing down the selection for the exhibit and we have a great representation of New Mexico’s backyard.”

The exhibit is included in the museum’s admission prices, which are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for children. Along with the NatureScapes exhibit, visitors to the museum can explore several different geologic time periods of New Mexico and also the stars in the Planetarium (additional cost for Planetarium shows).

Visitors also can see live native animals in the Naturalist Center, the museum’s hands-on educational room. Large format movies can be seen every hour in the museum’s Lockheed Martin DynaTheater (additional cost for DynaTheater shows).

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department of Cultural Affairs is New Mexico’s cultural steward and is charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic monuments, arts, archaeology, historic preservation and library programs, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest state cultural agency in the nation.