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Jerry Redfern has worked as a professional photojournalist for 20 years. He began his career as a staff photographer at newspapers in Montana and Wyoming, at a time when papers still had darkrooms and photographers still processed their own film. In 2012, Jerry became the first winner in the new SEJ Awards category, Outstanding Photography.
In 1998, Jerry Redfern and his wife, author and SEJ member Karen Coates, moved to Cambodia. There, Redfern shot news, features and investigative stories for Agence France-Presse, The New York Times, The Cambodia Daily and other publications. He and Coates have since combined their talents on numerous projects examining under-reported stories across Asia and beyond, with particular focus on the environment, health and social issues.
For six years, the couple documented the widespread effects of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos. Their book, Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos, is scheduled for publication by ThingsAsian Press in 2013. Photos from this project were awarded First Place for Outstanding Photography in the SEJ's 2012 Awards for Reporting on the Environment.
A mother paddles her children down the Sepon River in a canoe made from fuel tanks dropped by US bombers during the Vietnam War. The US heavily bombed the surrounding area during the war, which left a vast amount of bomb scrap and UXO (unexploded ordnance) that locals have incorporated into their daily lives. © Jerry Redfern.
Redfern is a 2012-2013 Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism at the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
In October 2011, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University named Redfern a Senior Fellow for continuing work on Eternal Harvest.
Redfern holds a degree in journalism from The University of Montana. His work has won awards from numerous journalism and art organizations, including the Fund for Investigative Journalism, Center – Review Santa Fe, and the National Press Photographers Association. Redfern’s images have appeared in publications around the world, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Archaeology, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, GEO, Sierra, National Geographic Books, among many, many others.
When not working abroad, he crashes mountain bikes near his home along the Rio Grande in New Mexico.