Alumnus’ Photography Featured on U.S. Postage Stamp
With camera in hand as the sun sets, Peter Turcik ’09 surveys a World War I-era shipwreck turned artificial reef in Mallows Bay on the Potomac River. As Turcik captures photos of the scene in Charles County, Maryland, little does he know that his work will eventually be featured on a U.S. postage stamp.
Photography is just one aspect of a fulfilling career where Turcik has united his passions for conservation and content creation. Now a managing editor with the American Fishery Society, he says a class at Allegheny College expanded his perspective on environmental advocacy.
“It was a big factor in knowing that I don’t necessarily have to be an environmental science major to participate in the conservation community,” says Turcik, reflecting on an environmental policy class with Professor Michael Maniates, who taught at Allegheny from 1993 to 2013.
After graduating from Allegheny with a degree in English and a political science minor, Turcik became a Student Conservation Association intern dedicated to the National Park Service’s Flight 93 Memorial. The experience allowed him to shoot more than 3,000 photographs, assist with fundraisers, and create marketing material to support visitation.
Soon after, Turcik joined Trib Total Media as a freelance reporter and photographer that contributed to the Ligonier Echo, his hometown newspaper. He would later work for the Chesapeake Conservancy as a media specialist with various responsibilities, including grant writing, videography, photography, graphic design, social media, website management, and public relations.
“Allegheny had a big effect on my writing ability,” Turcik says. “Through all the writing workshop classes I took, I feel like I was able to hone my skills. It was my writing that really got me noticed by the Chesapeake Conservancy and brought me from being a freelance reporter to working in the conservation realm.”
Since 2018, he has been the managing editor for the American Fishery Society. He primarily oversees its member magazine, Fisheries, by planning content, editing articles, and designing the magazine’s layout.
Taken in 2016, Turcik’s photograph of Mallow Bay was selected as one of 16 Forever stamps highlighting the National Marine Sanctuary System. His photo and the story behind it have been featured in a Washington Post column and a Chesapeake Bay Magazine story.
“I like that my talents are being put to use for the purpose of conservation; growing up as a fisherman, conservation has always been a key to who I am and what I do,” Turcik says.