Biography

Juliana (now 21), Michael (now 25) and John (now 31) in Yunnan, China. 2007.

Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier – “Mitty” – was born in Mexico City in 1966 and grew up in nearby Cuernavaca, in the sunny state of Morelos. She is a photographer and marine biologist who for the past 30 years has been working as a writer, conservationist and photographer. She graduated from the ITESM University in Mexico with a degree in Biochemical Engineering in Marine Sciences and later attended the Fine Art Photography program at the Corcoran College for the Arts in Washington, D.C.  In 2005 she founded the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues. In 2014, with her partner Paul Nicklen, she co-founded SeaLegacy, a conservation and production organization on a mission to ignite hope and change for our planet through ocean stories. SeaLegacy inspires millions of people to stand up and have a voice for the pristine places threatened by the climate crisis.

Cristina’s work has been published in hundreds of publications, including National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, McLean’s Magazine, and TIME.

Cristina is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award and the Imaging Award for Photographers Who Give Back. In 2021, she received the Seattle Aquarium’s Sylvia Earle Medal and Travel + Leisure’s Global Vision Award. She was named one of the 100 Latinos Most Committed to Climate Action and is recognized as one of the World’s top 40 Most Influential Outdoor Photographers by Outdoor Magazine.

In 2022, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, honoris causa, from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.

Cristina is a committed impact investor and an influential voice in bridging financial returns while creating a positive social and environmental impact.

Cristina has three adult children; John, Michael and Juliana, all of whom are passionate about nature.

Adventurer of the Year 2018


“Images can help us understand the urgency many photographers feel to protect wild places. My work is about building a greater awareness of the responsibility of what it means to be human. It is about understanding that the history of every living thing that has ever existed on this planet also lives within us. It is about the ethical imperative—the urgent reminder that we are linked to all other species on this planet and that we have a duty to act as the keepers of our fellow life forms.”


 – Cristina Mittermeier