a bit about me:
I am an urban ecologist and an advocate for people exploring the nature in their neighborhoods. Nature can be found everywhere, not only in the amazing national parks, and state parks that we see on tv, but even close to home. No matter if you live in a rural or an urban environment. I believe that everyone should have equal access to natural spaces especially within the city. I use my platform as Naturally Wild to showcase nature in urban environments by taking the public on my adventures to introduce people to the nature in their neighborhoods and highlight how access to nature differs in different parts of the world. As a Black woman with natural hair who loves all things wild, I am Naturally Wild.
I am a graduate of North Carolina State University's Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Biology Master of Science program. During my time at NCSU I was a part of the Reconciliation Ecology Lab, Public Science Cluster and a USGS Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center Global Change Fellow. My research interests primarily centers on urban bird ecology. Through my master’s project, I have found that citizen science point count datasets can detect underlying socioeconomic variables, but they can also reflect volunteer bias if data collection protocols are not uniform in spatial sampling. I am very interested in how human culture and bias impacts avian habitat and distribution in cities. I am especially interested in the intersection of environmental justice and conservation; looking deeper at how environmental and social justice issues impact wildlife, and how people value the environment.
Originally from Chicago, I have seen first hand how access to nature and how exposure to wildlife and environmental programs can differ in different parts of the city, specifically in minority neighborhoods. I believe that by exposing people, especially Black youth and young adults, to the natural sciences and the wonders of the outdoors, it will encourage them to pursue natural science careers, enjoy outdoor activities and become stewards of the environment. Naturally Wild shows that Black people can bird watch, hike, kayak, and explore the outdoors even though we may not always be publicly represented in those spaces. She hopes that by being authentically herself and unapologetically Black in the outdoors, she can inspire others to come as they are and enjoy the outdoors too.