National Geographic Magazine Yellowstone

National Geographic Magazine photographer Gobi Grizzly and Gobi Bear Project w/ writer Douglas Chadwick

HCN Perilous Passages w/ writer Emilene Ostlind

Museum Exhibitions

Invisible Boundaries (with James Prosek and Arthur Middleton

Venues: BBCW National Geographic Museum Yale National Museum of Wildlife Art Natural History Museum of Utah

Pronghorn Passage

Red Desert to Hoback: Mule Deer migration


National Geographic Photography Fellow (2017)

National Geographic Adventurer of the Year (2016)

National Geographic Young Explorers Grant (2008)

Wyoming Migration Initiative Photography Fellow (2016-18)

Look3 Festival of the Photograph featured artist

Monaco Prize for Elk Migration w/ Dr. Arthur Middleton

Stanford Knight-Riser Prize for pronghorn w/ Emilene Ostlind

UW Larsh Bristol Photojournalism Fellowship

National Geographic Expeditions Council Grantee

NANPA Philip Hyde Photography Grant 

Emmy Award for cinematography

Lots of support from friends I’ve met along the way

Early Assistantship Fieldwork

National Geographic Magazine w/ Steve Winter Tigers

National Geographic Magazine w/ Joel Sartore Albertine Rift

Joe Riis is a wildlife biologist turned photojournalist and filmmaker known for his pioneering documentation of animal migrations in the West. He is the photographer of Yellowstone Migrations, which has been a decade long and on going journey for Joe, often working solo in the backcountry and frontcountry of Wyoming. He aims to give migratory animals a visual voice in our current human culture. Joe has worked in collaboration with wildlife researchers, private landowners, and State/Federal agencies in the Yellowstone ecosystem. This project has led Joe to five continents for National Geographic Magazine assignments, and he has received photography and film accolades for his work. He lives with his wife Lucy and two dogs, Bearski and Bijou.


Yellowstone Migrations, Mountaineers Books

Tracking Gobi Grizzlies, Patagonia Books

YELLOWSTONE (contributor), National Geographic Books

Invisible Boundaries (contributor), Buffalo Bill Center


Elk River

Gobi Grizzly

Deer Migration

Return to the Tepuis

Migrations Footage