It is with pain in my heart and tears in my eyes that I write this memoriam of my friend Rebecca Jackrel who recently lost her battle with cancer this week. Rebecca was a driven and dedicated wildlife photographer who prided herself in recent years raising awareness to the plight of the Ethiopian Wolf via the Ethiopian Wolf Project with Will Burrard-Lucas . Quite the world traveler her trips always centered around conservation wildlife photography of subjects spanning the Albatrosses of Midway, Polar Bears of Churchill and Svalbard, Spirit Bears of Vancouver Island, Manatees of Florida, Sea Otters of California or marine mammals & sea life along the California coast.
To say Rebecca loved animals would be an understatement as her respect and love of animals was at the core of her being. She worked as veterinary technician before catching the photography bug and regularly volunteered with her husband at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. She shared her home with a variety of furry creatures including dogs, cats and even a lost hamster that literally walked into their house. There is little she would not do for an animal, wild or domestic, in need of care and/or protection.
I first met Rebecca at the Photochrome camera club in San Francisco back around 2004/5. She knew of me from my writing and images shared online and was in the cutest way smitten and shy in approaching me. Initially I thought I might have a stalker on my hands, but she quickly passed the non-stalker test and quickly became a good friend. It was at this time I got a glimpse of her generosity as she invited me to join her photographing the Wave in Arizona. In the years to follow she was incredibly generous in sharing her gear and most meaningful to me her support & heart felt believe in me. Very selfishly I mourn the passing of Rebecca because she was the rarest of friends who had a heartfelt interest in my work and believe in my artistic & professional development. Her support meant the world to me. I will forever treasure the time we spent together in the field and running workshops to photograph Sea Otters in Monterey and landscapes in Death Valley.
While Rebecca was never one to toot her own horn I will share her most recent and prized accomplishment she shared with me before she passed… it was her Certificate of Congressional Recognition for her work to study, document and defend the Ethiopian wolf.
Rebecca you will forever be in my heart. I will miss you more than words can describe.
You can view Rebecca Jackrel photography on her Photoshelter site.
Copyright Jim M. Goldstein, All Rights Reserved
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