20 de febrero de 2023

Context for myself as a Naturalist

Since I believe context is so important, here’s some of mine.
I grew up near the confluence of the Willamette and Tualatin rivers, near Willamette falls. I was casually birding, fishing and drawing from the age of 5. I was always curious about the plants and massive trees of my region, but never learned about them until later on in my life. The wetlands of the Tutalatin/Willamette region provided me with many subjects of curiosity, mostly birds at the time. “Birds of the Willamette Valley Region” by H. Nehls, T. Aversa, and H. Opperman was my bible, and I still have my same copy to this day. My family of four traveled around the western US, visiting every state west of the continental divide. Mostly visiting national parks, aquariums and the like.
I took an angsty break from nature in the dark ages (middle school/high school) and had a renaissance when I was a high school senior with an Environmental Science class where I realized my birding skills were useful and impressive. Our teacher introduced me to iNat then, with a project on Beavers’ effect on biodiversity in Mary S. Young Park. My next big step as a naturalist was in 2019 with a course at UofO called “Trees Across Oregon” taught by Whitey Lueck. This course altered my thinking forever. We learned and experienced native and ornamental trees, natural history, forest management practices and forest ecology. We visited many forest zones in Lane county, including a stop at the Delta Old Growth grove, one year before it tragically went up in flames. Although human caused, this was just another point on the life cycle of a forest. Learning how to “read” a forest Is by far my most prized skill from that course. It was then that I earned my badge as a “Certified Dendrophile” (my iNat name). After taking a break from school with the pandemic, I transferred to Oregon State University to study Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Science with a minor in Botany. That’s where I am now, and my curiosity of native plants and trees is finally being satisfied as I learn how to use Flora of the PNW and Flora of Oregon keys. I have recently become enthralled with mycology and entomology, and have revitalized my birding skills with a “Systematics of Birds” course by Dr. Douglas Robinson.
I consider myself very observant; blessed with two good eyes and two long legs to keep me mobile and curious. I am walking around every day trying to appreciate some nonhuman life form. It’s all fascinating to me. When I’m not out and about appreciating life on Earth, I am listening to bluegrass, playing banjo, reading books about what I observed earlier in the day, or spending time with loved ones.

Publicado el febrero 20, 2023 06:17 TARDE por certified_dendrophile certified_dendrophile | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario