Interests in international wildlife conservation, science, and art has led me to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Of all that DC has to offer, particularly appealing is the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, where I have had the privilege to work with good-hearted and visionary people for many years. This program has appropriately evolved into the new Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Under a joint agreement with the Smithsonian, I am a recipient of a Ph.D. fellowship at the Environmental Science and Public Policy program of George Mason University. My research is based in Laikipia, Kenya where I am studying trophic-level (vegetation, herbivores, and carnivores) response to a degraded landscape that is transitioning from intense cattle ranching and livestock grazing toward conservancy. Laikipia is a fascinating area for studying conservation with no current national protection (there is a proposed national park in the works); all efforts are driven by people and organizations within Laikipia.
Aside from professional activities, DC is one of the more stimulating cities to live in with having such great access to cool urban living and nearby outdoors. One way to appreciate DC's natural wonders is through a hobby that many share, nature photography - enjoy this great website: DCNature.com.
I enjoy staying active and surrounding myself with people wiser and smarter than I am (that's a lot of people). I also appreciate being able to helping others achieve those things that are important to them in their lives. Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. I'm humbled by knowing what others have done for me - and are still doing every day to help me stay on track and pursue my goals and ambitions. We should pass the torch whenever possible and remind ourselves others helped us get where we are today.
I have completed my field research in Kenya and can now focus on data analysis and dissertation writing. Never did I think it would be possible for me to study wildlife in Africa. By DC standards, such exotic travel is quite common, but where I come from, it's a childhood dream rarely attainable. You mostly watch it on TV and wonder what it's like being that other person. DC has the largest concentration of research scientists in the world, not to mention being a global hotspot for environmental organizations.