Dartmouth Photographers Present 25 of Their Best Shots From 2020

This year began like any other year on the Dartmouth campus, where students gathered to study, compete, perform, play. And then, of course, many things changed as the pandemic took hold.

Dartmouth News takes a look back on an academic year that included a snowy winter carnival and a presidential campaign, and by June an introduction to COVID-related changes: physical distancing, mandatory maskwearing, and online and remote teaching and learning, among many other things.

While we may not know exactly what lies ahead, we can appreciate the beauty of the Upper Valley and the success and resilience of the Dartmouth community during a unique year through the lenses of College Photographer Eli Burakian ’00, Multimedia Manager Robert Gill, and photo intern Keoni Ocalvey ’20, Thayer ’21, who talk about some of the details and inspiration behind their favorite photos, in calendar order, from this past year.

Photos
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Dartmouth men's hockey player high-5s boys on his way to the ice.
JANUARY: Dartmouth’s extended Upper Valley community is always something I love to see. These diehard young fans mean a lot to our athletes. — Robert Gill
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Students walking in many directions during a snow storm
JANUARY: The winter of 2019-’20 was a low snow year but even so, we did get a few small storms during the term. I like this shot because the snow provides layering within the image while the blur and various foot positions suggest a sense of action, probably students moving between classes. The snow also gives a painterly quality. I believe in the old adage, bad weather makes for good photos! — Eli Burakian ’00
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Three students studying in Collis.
JANUARY: The quiet strength of the quotidian. Things don’t have to be action packed or amazing to be perfect, poignant, and beautiful. Pictured: Camille Landon ’21, Lauren Ross ’23, Zoe Danton ’22, in Collis. — Robert Gill
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Dartmouth cheerleaders huddle-up for a team pep talk.
FEBRUARY: There is so much more to the college athletic experience than competition. I love watching teams come together and how these students grow in a supportive environment. During the Winter Carnival women’s basketball game against Yale, a cadre of alumni basketball players were honored at halftime. Here, Kim Selmore ’83 shares her appreciation with the Dartmouth Cheer Team, which is a co-ed club sport. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shakes hands and talks to students at the Top of the Hop.
FEBRUARY: Mayor Pete Buttigieg was very generous with his time when he came to campus and the students were very excited to meet him. Dartmouth is transformed into a political hot spot in the years leading up to elections. — Robert Gill
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Students enjoying a snowshoe race on the Green during Winter Carnival.
FEBRUARY: One of the most popular Dartmouth traditions is the Winter Carnival. This past year was the first time in many years that Dartmouth did not get to have its own winter carnival ski race. However students on campus still got to participate in many activities, including this Bigfoot Snowshoe Race on the Green, and this year the weather really cooperated. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Overhead view, from within the red spiral stairway, of students studying.
FEBRUARY: The opening of each new or newly renovated building on campus brings new photographic opportunities. Using this new architectural element in Anonymous Hall was a no-brainer. — Robert Gill
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Two actors practice boxing for a theatrical production.
FEBRUARY: The Department of Theater’s winter mainstage production, The Sweet Science of Bruising—which opened Feb. 21—gave audiences a ringside view of the challenges that faced women boxers in 19th-century England. The production, which follows the lives of four women from different backgrounds as they discover independence through boxing, is the American debut of the critically acclaimed 2018 work by British playwright Joy Wilkinson. Here, playing a couple in the play, Brooke Bazarian ’20 and Paul West, the fight choreographer, box in a match. I love the action, lighting, framing of the two people under the punch and the contrast of a dress and a boxing match. I love shooting the dress rehearsals of the theater department’s mainstage productions, as I get to move all around to get the best angles. I really miss shooting theater during the pandemic and can’t wait until there is another in-person mainstage production. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Two students conducting research in a lab.
MARCH: PhD chemistry student and graduate teaching assistant Leah Lowder, left, and Mathes Vaughan ’22 making science fun and accessible as they do. — Robert Gill
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Aerial view of Baker Library and surroundings paths outlined in the snow.
MARCH: This aerial abstraction looks more like a De Stijl painting than a photograph. I’m always looking to show the familiar in unfamiliar ways, so we can see the places we know so well with fresh eyes and not take them for granted. — Robert Gill
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Members of the NH National Guard set up cots in Alumni Gym during the COVID pandemic.
APRIL: This was one of my favorite assignments during the pandemic. The NH National Guard turned Alumni Gym into an emergency overflow for the hospital. Luckily, the space was not needed as our area quickly organized social distancing efforts. — Robert Gill
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Farm Manager Laura Braasch and Molly McBride '14 inside the greenhouse at the Organic Farm.
MAY: Organic Farm Manager Laura Braasch (right) and employee Molly McBride ’14 were my MVPs this year. If ever I was down, a trip to the farm was usually the cure. They are truly kind and wonderful friends to have. They both deserve a great amount of credit for keeping the O Farm running, donating most of the food produced to those in need. — Robert Gill
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Dartmouth Hall is reflected in a puddle on a grey day.
(Photo by Robert Gill)
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The Comet Neowise, on a clear moonless night, shines brilliantly in the western sky over the Organic Farm barn.
JULY: I love the thoughtful, careful execution necessary to be successful in astrophotography. This summer we had the chance to witness the Comet Neowise, which, on a clear moonless night shone brilliantly in the western sky. Given the light pollution in town, I went to the Organic Farm where it was much more visible. The light on the barn actually comes from a passing car and provided just the highlight necessary to complete the image. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Students stand in line outside, masked, 6 feet apart, waiting to be tested for COVID.
SEPTEMBER: Although the pandemic has changed my job dramatically, it has also created an opportunity to capture this unique moment in history. It is only during this time, for example, that we have masked students standing in line (here for their COVID tests) exactly six feet apart. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Students studying, separated in different nooks, in the library.
SEPTEMBER: The first day that students were allowed to re-enter the library was a special one. Having the space occupied gave a taste of normalcy, and no one was taking it for granted. — Robert Gill
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A masked student signs one of the plywood homecoming boards to be burned at the 2021 homecoming bonfire.
OCTOBER: Although the homecoming festivities were canceled this year due to the pandemic, Dartmouth made sure the Class of 2024 was able to participate in the homecoming tradition of signing and drawing on plywood boards that will be attached to the side of the bonfire structure during next year’s celebration. Here, Fatima Aliamer ’24 signs a board on the steps of Dartmouth Hall. — Eli Burakian ’00
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In-line skater traveling down a deserted Webster Ave. surrounded by trees in foliage.
OCTOBER: Keoni Ocalvey ’20, Thayer ’21, is one of our photography interns who this fall captured some beautiful shots of campus. This photograph shows one student finding his way to get out during the pandemic. There has been less traffic on the local roads and more inline skaters, skateboarders, and bikers than I’ve ever seen. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Two professors fly an autonomous drone system outside.
OCTOBER: Students and alumni are very familiar with Dartmouth’s two main off-campus properties at Mt. Moosilauke and the Second College Grant. Dartmouth also owns other properties, including a beautiful parcel of land across the river in nearby Corinth, Vt. This provides an amazing opportunity for research in the field. Dave Lutz, right, is a professor in Environmental Studies and works with students and other faculty, including his friend Eben Broadbent, left, an assistant professor from the School of Forest Resources & Conservation at the University of Florida who has created an autonomous drone system that gathers data. This includes lidar scanning, which creates a robust three-dimensional representation of the forest. The property is home to a big stand of beautiful black ash, which could die within the next five years due to the emerald ash borer beetle, and offered a unique opportunity to study the effects and remediation strategies of this environmental threat. — Eli Burakian ’00
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In a single line, on a fall day, students bicycle to the Organic Farm on Rt. 10.
OCTOBER: I was impressed by how Dartmouth employees were able to adapt student programing during the pandemic. It was not lost on anyone how lucky we are to live in this amazing green and rural place, where outdoor access is integral to the Dartmouth experience. — Robert Gill
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Foliage aerial view of campus, mountains, and hills to the south.
OCTOBER: Man I love this place! I’m always amazed by the quality of very portable drones. In the past half dozen years, we have used a number of relatively inexpensive drones. The quality of the images, the useability, and the flight time of the current generation are astounding. I particularly like this angle, as it shows Mt. Ascutney (where I live) rising in the distance. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Rowing Boathouse and foliage reflected in the Connecticut River.
OCTOBER: When the water and air are still, the Connecticut River can take on the appearance of a lake. Here, from the Vermont side, is an almost perfect reflection of the trees, Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse, and Ledyard Canoe Club boathouse. Dartmouth’s location on the river provides many opportunities for students to get out on the water. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Aerial view of a blue scull on the Connecticut River surrounded by floating leaves.
OCTOBER: This was my favorite aerial photo of the year. The fall leaves in the Connecticut River look like stars as this vessel travels through space. — Robert Gill
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Front view of Baker Library with a half sod, half soil lawn.
NOVEMBER: For much of 2020, the front access to Dartmouth Library’s Baker-Berry Library was closed for repairs. When work was nearing completion, a beautiful new lawn was laid down, and I happened to catch it right as it was about half finished. — Eli Burakian ’00
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Jason and Amber Mosel walking together carrying an American flag.
NOVEMBER: Jason Mosel, a Dartmouth employee, ran a 5-mile loop around Dartmouth 20 times, for a total of 100 miles, to celebrate the 245th birthday of the Marine Corps, Veterans Day, and a new Employee Resource Network for veterans at Dartmouth. Mosel carried the Marine Corps flag for the first half and the American flag for the second half. On this, his last lap, his wife, Amber Mosel, accompanied him. — Eli Burakian ’00