Laurel Ridge Professors, Ann and Rob Simpson, Place in Prominent Outdoor Writers Competition

For Immediate Release:
September 3, 2015

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

photo collage

Outdoor Writers Association of America announced that Ann and Rob Simpson of Stephens City, Virginia, were recognized as award recipients during the 2015 OWAA Excellence in Craft Contest. This annual awards program recognizes and honors the best work of outdoor communicators who are members of OWAA. This year, 62 individuals took home a total of nearly $12,000 in cash prizes.

 Awards won by the couple: 

Second place in the flora category of the photography contest for “Mountain Lady’s Slipper,” Nature Guide to Yosemite National Park, October 2014. The flora category recognizes photographs in which a wild plant(s) is the main subject in its natural setting. 

Second place in the outdoor fun and adventure category of the photography contest for “Cross Country Skier Yosemite,” Nature Guide to Yosemite National Park, October 2014. The outdoor fun and adventure category recognizes the best outdoor recreation work from the various non-consumptive sports. This includes, but is not limited to, outdoor sports such as camping/backpacking, boating, hiking, birding, snow skiing, orienteering, mountain biking and general outdoor activities.

Third place in the flora category of the photography contest for “Crimson Columbine,” Nature Guide to Yosemite National Park, October 2014. The flora category recognizes photographs in which a wild plant(s) is the main subject in its natural setting 

Ann and Rob Simpson are nature photographers and authors of numerous books, mostly with a national park theme. Their background as professors in biology at Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge), gives their photography an in-depth quality. They have travelled extensively to photograph some of the earth’s rarest animals, plants, and habitats. Their photos have a sense of place including how we as humans fit into the environment. They regularly lead natural history photo tours to some of the most dramatic, exciting, and exotic places on earth. Both were premiere professional photographers for Canon and the American Park Network’s photography in the parks program. They travelled AC Mountain National Parks giving hands on photo field trips and an evening lecture on nature photography. The Simpsons also teach nature and wildlife photography courses at Laurel Ridge for the career program certificate in outdoor and nature photography. 

The Outdoor Writers Association of America is the oldest and largest association of professional outdoor communicators in the United States. It was organized in 1927 by members of the Izaak Walton League of America and includes professional communicators dedicated to sharing the outdoor experience. OWAA’s professionals include writers, photographers, outdoors radio and television show hosts, book authors, videographers, lecturers and artists. The association is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. Visit for more collage


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.