Hey everyone! I’m Kevin, and I was selected as one of this year’s fellows at the Wandering Scholar! I’m from Brooklyn, New York but go to school in Staten Island. I will be traveling with Global Leadership Adventures on a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands on June 16th to the 29th.
I am passionate about environmental science and improving the quality of environmental education. I believe that environmental science is one of the most important, central sciences; it can be seen the air, water, soil, and trees around us. However, environmental science is frequently disregarded in traditional school curricula. I can personally attest to this, having received no actual education in environmental science in elementary and middle school. Only recently in high school have I received true environmental science education, and that too was in the form of extracurricular study.
This segues well into my most favorite extracurricular activity, which is Envirothon. It’s sort of like a quiz-bowl type of thing, except this environmental science competition actually occurs in nature. I specialize in aquatic ecology for the competition, and it is how I first became involved in studying the environment and realizing my love for learning about it.
I can’t wait to volunteer at organizations in Ecuador that are dedicated to conservation efforts – something that I believe is intrinsically important. I’m really excited to explore the Galapagos Islands, an amazing archipelago that is home to a vast number of unique, endemic species and is literally a natural science laboratory. I’ll be breathing the same air Darwin did in the 19th century when he first devised the theory of natural selection!
For fun, I love to go hiking and trail running – or basically any other type of outdoors activity involving nature! My favorite artists are Bon Iver, the Lumineers, and Passion Pit. Three words that my friends would use to describe me are probably random, driven, and an overthinker.
As for my documentation project, I plan on photographing the vast amounts of biodiversity and the unique species present in Ecuador and the Galapagos. With this, I also plan on photographing the effects, if any, of human interaction on biodiversity on the Islands, and how native Ecuadorians are reacting to it. However, I am a little worried now that the Galapagos might actually not be undergoing any biodiversity loss, eliminating one of the main parts of my project! It’s subject to strict legislature that aims to protect its natural biodiversity; this severely limits the amount of human interference allowed.