Documentary Photography

In collaboration with the Community Engagement Office, photographer Joanne Petrina travels with scientists in Southeast Asia and documents the intersection of Earth science, culture and history. Her humanistic photo-narratives have covered subjects relevant to the Earth Observatory and the Asian School of the Environment such as climate science in sacred caves of Myanmar, earthquake preparedness in West Sumatra, as well as ancient models of sustainability in Bali. Her compelling photographs show why the Observatory’s work is so vital as our scientists address challenges for Southeast Asia. See more at

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As the Asian Monsoon migrates north-eastward off the Bay of Bengal, Myanmar is one of the first places the rains make landfall. It is an ideal place to conduct research that will lead to a better understanding of the moisture trajectory of the monsoons from the past and how they may look in the future. The photographs in this series illustrate the journey that scientists from The Earth Observatory of Singapore and their Myanmar colleagues took as they visited thirteen caves in Kalaw and Taungyyi townships to collect samples that will reveal regional climate history.