Joe Riis is a wildlife biologist turned wildlife photojournalist and filmmaker known for his pioneering documentation of animal migrations in the West. He is a Photography Fellow at the National Geographic Society as well as the Wyoming Migration Initiative. Since 2009, he has worked on natural history photography assignments for National Geographic Magazine on five continents. His photographs have been exhibited widely, and are included in private and public collections worldwide. He lives in rural South Dakota with his partner Lucy and their dogs Bear and Jiji, with interests in fruit growing, bees, and wood craft.

2018/2017 - National Geographic Beyond Yellowstone Project

2018 - Invisible Boundaries exhibit (w/Dr. Arthur Middleton & James Prosek) at BBCW National Geographic Museum Yale National Museum of Wildlife Art

2017 - San Guillermo National Park, Argentina film production - HHMI Tangled Bank Studios

2016 - National Geographic Magazine photographer Yellowstone

2016 - Look3 Festival of the Photograph featured artist & talk

2015 - National Geographic Adventurer of the Year

2014 - Camp Monaco Prize w/ Dr. Arthur Middleton

2013 - National Geographic Magazine photographer Gobi Grizzly and Gobi Bear Project

2013 - Mule Deer Migration WMI Initiative

2012 - National Geographic Expedition Council Tepuis

2012 - Stanford Knight-Riser Prize for journalism w/ Emilene Ostlind

2011 - Emmy Award for cinematography in Great Migrations series

2011 - National Geographic Magazine field assistant Albertine Rift

2010 - LookBetween nominee (Look3 Festival of the Photograph)

2010 - National Geographic Magazine field assistant Tigers

2009 - The Murie Center Artist-in-Residence (Grand Teton NP)

2008 - Larsh Bristol Photojournalism Fellowship (U of Wyoming)

2008 - NANPA Philip Hyde Photography Grant 

2008 - National Geographic Young Explorers Grant 

2007 - University of Wyoming Independent Study Award


Yellowstone Migrations, Mountaineers Books, Fall 2017

Tracking Gobi Grizzlies, Patagonia Books, Fall 2016

YELLOWSTONE (contributor), National Geographic Books, Fall 2016

Invisible Boundaries (contributor), Buffalo Bill Center, Summer 2016


Elk River - 2016

Gobi Grizzly - 2015

Deer Migration - 2014

Return to the Tepuis - 2013