© 2018 by Ryan Valdez.  All rights reserved

This website is intended for family, friends, colleagues, and the occasional inquisitor - future working partner.

My first memories of being outdoors were filled with excitement and curiosity - and that feeling hasn't changed.  Observing wildlife was always of interest, and I did any and everything I could to stay outside and get a better look.  This evolved into a career path immersed in science and one that would keep me experiencing the great outdoors. I'm only learning now that the benefits of a childhood subjected to nature were far greater than I had ever imagined.

"Biophilia" is a term coined by biologist, E. O. Wilson.  With it, he describes our affinity to the natural world - that we are drawn to it - that we need it, while implicating a strong conservation ethic for the preservation of global biodiversity.  More importantly, the Biophilia hypothesis implies harsh consequences for us - should we allow nature to be destroyed or should we do nothing about the sudden collapse of people's engagement with nature. With such negligence, we impair our physical and mental well-being - along with that of future generations.

"Imagine a therapy that has no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost.  Such therapy has been known to philosophers, writers, and laypeople alike:  Interacting with nature" (Berman, Jonides, & Kaplan, 2008).

Exposure to nature impacts our health and happiness.  With that connection, we must also recognize our responsibility therein - and respectfully share our natural world with creatures great and small..

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