Welcome to the inaugural post of my new exploration of science and natural history. Before we dive into the exciting stuff, I wanted to take a moment to tell you a bit about this site and what to expect here in the future. I’ll start by telling you a bit about me. My name is David Shaw, I’m a writer, photographer, wilderness guide, and wildlife biologist. That sounds like a lot, and it is. I live what one friend describes as an “independent economy”. In other words , I’m a freelancer.
I discovered, after leaving my full-time career as a Research Biologist, that what I love most about science, is sharing it.
Though my formal education (a Bachelor’s degree from the Evergreen State College, and masters degree from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks) is in wildlife biology, I’m really a naturalist at heart. What’s the difference? Well, I suspect it has something to do with statistics. I love observing, researching, describing, and learning about the natural world, but when it came to the math that quantifies it… well, I kind of lost interest. I discovered, after leaving my full-time career as a Research Biologist, that what I love most about science, is sharing it.
Now, I write about nature and science for a broad array of publications. I’ve had articles and my own accompanying images published in dozens of magazines including Sierra, Birds and Blooms (where I’m a contributing editor), Birdwatching, Alaska, Country, The Ecologist, and others. Check out my publications page for more about that. You can also find out more about my photography, and look at my galleries by visiting Wild Imagination Photography.
In addition to the writing, photography, and guiding, I run a little wildlife consulting company, Shaw Wildlife Consulting (www.shawwildlife.com), where I keep my professional biology chops up to snuff by contracting with agencies, private companies, and non-profits who need an extra pair of hands for field research, or writing projects.
It’s the answers I don’t know, that inspired me to start this site. I wanted a place where I could look into some of those questions, and hopefully, answer them.
During the summer in Alaska, I work as a wilderness guide for Arctic Wild (www.arcticwild.com). Each June, July and August, I take a couple of dozen backcountry enthusiasts out into the wild corners of the north for multi-day backpacking and river trips. And often, during the northern winter, I travel south where I guide birding and natural history trips on expedition-sized cruise ships in Antarctica and South America. On all these journeys, I get a lot of questions, some of which I can answer, and some of which, I cannot. It’s that last category, the answers I don’t know, that inspired me to start this site. I wanted a place where I could look into some of those questions, and hopefully, answer them.
Too, I am fascinated by the research coming out of the field. New technologies, techniques, and yes, even statistics, are yielding exciting results, and raising new questions. When such projects catch my attention, you can expect to find information and thoughts here.
So here we are, questions about the natural world sprawling in front of us. Let’s go find some answers.