PITTSBURG — The sun rises over the fields as Nature and Conservation Photographer Noppadol Paothong sits camera-ready and awaits for the sage grouse to appear.
On Feb. 28, Paothong will share his experience as a staff wildlife photographer with the Missouri Department of Conservation at a Sperry-Galligar Audubon meeting. He works in the outreach and education division to inform the public on endangered species.  
His images appear in the monthly publication, Missouri Conservationist and many other publications of the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Paothong is also an associate fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers where he is among the world's top wildlife, nature and culture photographers around the globe, a release from there Sperry-Galligar Audubon Society said.
Recipient of numerous awards, his photographs have also appeared in many national publications, including National Wildlife, Audubon, Nature Conservancy, Field & Stream and many more.
He has photographed wildlife for almost 20 years and he spent 17 of those years working on a photographical book about biodiversity. Paothong almost exclusively photographs the sage grouse in the western part of Missouri.
Some grouse are considered to be near-threatened, which is why Paothong has dedicated his time to photograph them.
“I think it’s important that people are informed, the more we aware the more that will care,” he said. “Most people don’t know what it is that we are saving.”

Want to go?
The Sperry-Galligar Audubon Meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, in Room 102, Yates Hall at Pittsburg State University, located at 1702 S. Joplin St., Pittsburg.
The event is free and open to the public.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.