Chris Rainier is a National Geographic Society Fellow and documentary photographer - who is highly respected for his documentation of endangered Cultures and Languages around the globe. In 2002 he was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award by the Explorers Club for his efforts on cultural preservation, and he has recently been elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society of London-specializing in Cultural Documentation. During his continued tenure with the National Geographic Society he has been the co-founder and co-director of both the Enduring Voices Language Project and Director of the All Roads Photography Program. Designed to support indigenous groups with modern technology desiring to document their traditional culture and create sustainable solutions to preserve the planet in the 21st Century. Rainier has completed photographic documentation Expeditions on all Seven Continents including the North Pole.
In the early 1980’s Rainier was Ansel Adams last photographic assistant during his tenure with the noted photographer- he worked with Mr. Adams to amplify the use of Art Photography as a social tool - helping to preserve threatened wilderness areas and National Parks.
Rainier's photography and books have been widely shown and collected by museums around the world, including the Australian Museum in Sydney, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the International Center of Photography in New York, the George Eastman House International Museum in Rochester, New York,
The National Geographic Society , and the United Nations.
He is the director of the Last Mile Technology Program, which supports underrepresented and indigenous cultures with modern social media, computers, cameras, and video equipment. Empowering them to tell their own cultural stories and share their traditional knowledge to find global solutions to the pressing issues on the planet in the 21st Century. In addition he is creating a global digital archive of the worlds most endangered languages and cultural knowledge.
Rainier has published five books focused on traditional Culture, and his new book “Cultures on the Edge” was recently published by the National Geographic Society.