Join the fight to protect habitat

As a biologist and now science filmmaker, I’ve had the chance to study some pretty diverse places around the world. I started my graduate studies in marine biology studying the interaction of species with their environment. In particular, I looked at how the presence of sharks change the behavior of small fish on sand flats. I was also a tour guide for the 5 years I was in Hawaii helping tourists spot rare local species (99% of what was there wasn’t native so the native species were really special). I followed countless grad-student friends as they’d study and try to save the last individuals of birds, snails, and plants on the islands. Much of that was all about habitat loss and restoration.

Later I worked as an aquatic plant biologist where we’d replant native freshwater species to counteract invasive plants. I then spent time in Panama in a pristine rainforest and documented the slow dissapearance of frogs from an introduced fungus. I also spent time there with tapir and jaguar researchers who were documenting the slow demise of those species there. It seems nothing was immune to the threats. That’s about when I started to feel the pressure to do something. I had so much knowledge of the problems happening to our native habitats, but what was I doing about it? I felt like the wealth of information out there was high, but it needed more people to pass the information to the public. The non-biologists I talked to thought we were all doing just fine. Did they really have no idea or where they just happy to live in their little bubble and not really care about the global trends.

What would help? The key, as I saw it, was entirely based in education. If everyone knew their local environment just a bit, they could help stop the spread of invasive plants. They could plant native ones. They could champion for healthy habitats and more wild-places! But, if nobody even cared about learning about these places, we’d be doomed. So, I decided I wanted to at least make learning about them engaging. That’s why I’m doing the education I am now. But, we need a tribe. We need fellow ecogeeks to share with this fight to save what’s here. That’s part of why I’m making Eco-Rebel.

Why Rebels?

The want to keep places natural shouldn’t be a rebel cause. It should be the norm, but it’s not. I feel like a minority. Thus, we need to be rebels with this cause. In particular, the cause is habitat loss. As an eco rebel, we’re here to take a stand to learn as much as we can about what’s around us. To go native as much as we can. To spend time outside. And, to teach others.

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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