One of the things we really lack in science is long term data sets very often. To have somebody photographing animals and plants in a particular area over a long period of time gives you that same sort of information.
It's a record through time of a particular place and the things that live there which is quite rare really. If you were going to do that as a research project, it would cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Science is about finding new stuff out...but there's no point in finding things out if you can't communicate it.
Almost everybody who goes on an Animal Ecology field trip has got some kind of camera. I think having somebody who does photography as a focused hobby, or as a semi professional, will certainly bring information to the students that will certainly help them.
His attention to detail with an eye for difference will help students to see the environment for what it is, rather than just seeing it as a place.