2023 Adventures in Nature Student Photography Contest Winners Announced

Close-up of a roadrunner with a bug flying in front of his beak.
Honorable Mention "The great roadrunner" © Aidan Yu

Media Contacts

ABC15's "Uplifting Arizona"

Two student winners from this year's contest, Malia Means and Aidan Yu, were interviewed by Cameron Polom of ABC15. Watch the segment here!

Students from the West Valley to the East Valley and from Page to Tucson impressed professional photographers in the 10th annual “Adventures in Nature” Photo Contest, a partnership amongst The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, Arizona Highways magazine and Cox Communications.

“It’s very exciting for us to be participating again in this great event,” said Lisa Lovallo, Vice President & Southern Arizona Market Leader, Cox Communications Southwest Region. “For me, it’s a double win because I’ve had the great pleasure and honor to join the Board of Trustees at The Nature Conservancy, representing Cox, and of course I grew up with Arizona Highways calendars. So, we’re really proud to be supporting people getting out in nature and seeing the beautiful environment that we get to enjoy on a daily basis.”

What started as a Tucson competition has expanded across the state. This year, nearly 200 talented Arizonans, ages 13-18, entered more than 300 photos.

“Our mission at Arizona Highways is to get people off the couch,” said Robert Stieve, the magazine’s editor. “And that includes children and young adults. We’ve been a proud co-sponsor of this photo contest for many years because it goes to the heart of what we’re trying to do. It helps get a younger generation into the great outdoors. But it’s more than just taking a walk in the woods. Photography provides a purpose for these kids — it makes them think about what they’re seeing and experiencing. And even if their photos don’t finish in the Top 10, they’re already winners for having had the experience of being outside.”


Landscape of Sabino Creek with green grass in the foreground and snow covered trees in the background.
1st Place Winner "Rare March snow in Sabino Creek" © Arianna DuPont

This year, 15-year-old Arianna DuPont from Tucson took home first place for “Rare March snow in Sabino Creek.” An honor she celebrated with her photography teacher, Ms. Haskell, and her family at a photo contest viewing party held in their photography classroom.

After thanking her teacher and family, Arianna said, “I’ve always been so drawn to capturing the beauty of our surroundings, and I’m so fortunate to live in such a beautiful city… [an] amazing state, where we have all these beautiful things to capture.”


A towering mountain peeks through the foggy sky.
2nd Place Winner "Towering rocks peeking through low clouds" © Malia Means
Black and white landscape of Mt. Lemmon with dozens of saguaros in the foreground and a cloudy sky above.
3rd Place Winner "Saguaros watching the clouds" © Corbin Rouette
2nd Place Winner "Towering rocks peeking through low clouds" © Malia Means
3rd Place Winner "Saguaros watching the clouds" © Corbin Rouette

Coming in second and third place, respectively, were Malia Means, 16, of Phoenix for “Towering Rocks Peeking Through Low Clouds” and Corbin Rouette, 18, of Tucson for “Saguaros Watching the Clouds.”

Winners will receive up to $10,000 in prize money. The breakdown is $5,000 for first, $2,500 for second and $1,000 for third. All honorable mentions earn $250. 

Landscape of the peak of Mt. Lemmon surrounded by fog and with trees in the distance.
Honorable Mention "Fog floating through the valley alongside the peak of Mt Lemmon" © Grace Shepard
Evening landscape of a rock formation with a small waterfall in the center.
Honorable Mention "Sycamore Falls evening" © Kaden VanDuyne

The judges were Arizona Highways magazine photo editor Jeff Kida, Phoenix-based professional photographers Suzanne Mathia and Mark Skalny, former UA president turned current Chairman of Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Corporation (LSST) and acclaimed photographer John Schaefer and former Arizona Daily Star photo editor Rick Wiley.

To learn more about The Nature Conservancy’s work in Arizona, please visit

About Arizona Highways

Since 1925Arizona Highways magazine has brought the beauty of Arizona to visitors and natives alike through its award-winning photography, travel journalism and steadfast commitment to discovering the state’s treasures. Helping to drive tourism to and through the state, Arizona Highways has subscribers in all 50 states and more than 120 countries.

About Cox Communications

Cox Communications is the third largest cable provider and a multi-service broadband communications company in the country, serving nearly 3 million residential and business product subscribers in Arizona (a product subscriber represents an individual service purchased by a customer).

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.