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Welcome!

I'm Meredith

I am a Colorado based naturalist, photographer, outdoor guide, and educator.

I believe that nature makes us better, and I love creating things that help or inspire others.

I believe that nature has the power to heal people, and that people have the power to heal nature.

We are currently living through an unprecedented environmental crisis

At the same time, lifestyle diseases and a rapidly degrading environment has made us sicker than ever - both physically and mentally.

How do we end and reverse these crises? How do we reclaim our health and save our dying planet?

The science is clear that:

1. we live in a profound moment in the history of the Earth - a tipping point - in which humans have the power to stop and reverse catastrophic destruction to our environment, and

2. spending time in nature can actually make us healthier, happier, more creative, and more connected with one another.

“Nature itself is the best physician.” – Hippocrates

So, if nature makes us better, why do most people ignore its destruction? 

Because most people - trapped by concrete with their eyes always glued to a screen - are disconnected from it. 

People don’t intentionally destroy what they value and what they love. 

You wouldn’t walk into your home with a bag of garbage and dump it in your living room, would you? 

Why?

Because your home is your sanctuary.

When people begin to see the Earth as their sanctuary, everything changes. 

“I don't really believe that humans are evil; it is just that we are not very intelligent animals. No animal is so stupid as to foul its only nest, except humans.” – Yvon Chouinard

So, the question becomes, “how do we get people to see the Earth as their sanctuary?”

As a professional naturalist and outdoor guide who has guided thousands “city” people through some of our nation’s most stunning national parks and natural wonders, I have found one answer: by connecting people to nature

We, humans, have forgotten that we are nature. 

When you make a connection with nature, you reconnect to who you truly are.

The only way to make this connection is by spending time in nature.

The best way that I have found to personally connect to nature is through solo and group outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, backpacking, trail running, and other outdoor pursuits. 

Professionally, I have found that the best way to promote the connection between humans and nature is to get people on outdoor adventures, from slow walks or scenic drives, to multi-day backpacking expeditions. 

Most people have transformative, life enhancing experiences when they spend time outdoors in wild places. I see it every day.

These experiences leave people healthier, happier, and with a sense of responsibility to practice environmental stewardship.

The problem is that most people do not have the tools, resources, knowledge, money, or community support that it takes to learn how to get out in nature and adventure responsibly.

I'm trying to change that.

I created this website to serve my mission, which is to make ethical, sustainable outdoor adventure accessible to all.

I hope this site inspires you to live an adventurous life.

I hope it allows you to deepen your connection to nature and to yourself. 

I hope it teaches you the skills you need to feel self-confident and safe outdoors. 

I hope it empowers you to be brave - brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and push past the fears that hold you back.

I hope it ignites in you a sense of urgency to save our dying planet - and provides you with the tools to do something about it.

This is your invitation to live a more connected, adventurous life.

My mission is to empower and inspire more women to spend time in nature.

What fuels my curiosity and gets me excited? A few things at the top of this list: 
Meaningful outdoor experiences. Teaching others about the natural world. Pushing past my physical and mental limits. Creating art that evokes as sense of awe and respect for nature.

As a natural scientist and passionate, lifelong outdoor adventurer, I have always been frustrated by a lack of awareness of environmental issues and meaningful resources to help people become more environmentally conscious.

This is the reason I created this site.

I see my work as a photographer, environmentalist, and educator as a way to ultimately help people become more environmentally conscious in their everyday lives.

Through the content I share on this website, my intention is to inspire and empower you to create your own art, connect to nature, and live more adventurously.

I hope you find it a resource to help you become creative and engaged with nature.

And, I hope this moves you to actively create positive change for the good of our planet.

I believe in:

kindness, authenticity, thinking for yourself, questioning everything, the healing power of nature

I'm Not into

creating for the algorithm, climbing the ladder, timelines, the status quo, conformity, mediocrity

You will often find me

trail running, meditating, backpacking through canyons and up mountains, talking about rocks and fossils, photographing sunrises

DAily rituals

reading, journaling, meditation, time in sunshine, learning something new, cuddling with my canine

My Story

In 2016, I left my "dream job" as a paleontologist, ending a decade long career that had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.

After a series of major personal setbacks that challenged me to question my purpose, I decided that I would dedicate my life to studying and creating things that were important to me.

This decision led me on a winding road of career and life detours. For the next three years, I intensively studied yoga, meditation, nutrition, computer programming, outdoor education, photography, and entrepreneurship. I experimented with new careers and tested business ideas.

While I had some successes and rewarding experiences, I "failed" over, and over, and over again. I still fail, in one way or another, almost daily. Risk of failure, however, is necessary part of any path that will lead you to your goals, and not something that should paralyze you from taking action.

I should also say that the decision I made to leave a really great job was terrifying, but I would later learn that fear, like failure, never goes away if you are living your life fully and without regrets. Anything worth doing is terrifying, you just have to learn how to trust yourself, push through the fear, and take action towards your goals anyway.

Today, I continue to dedicate my life to studying and creating things that deeply matter to me, which is why I created this website in 2020. This site is a growing and evolving work in progress that I work on daily.

Every piece of content on this site, from the written guides, videos, and custom diagrams, to the code that this site is built on, is 100% designed and created by me as a gift to you. Everything I create on this site starts as an idea or vision in my head, and the fun part is figuring out how to make it a reality.

It is my sincere hope that this site enriches and changes your life for the better. If it does, I'd love to hear about it.
My Guiding Principles
I strive to live by these core values and principles in order to keep myself grounded and focused in the right direction.
Challenge convention and conventional thinking
Society has brainwashed most people into believing that they should keep their heads down, work hard to fit in, play it safe, do what they are told, and follow the herd. Most people abide by a contrived, artificial system designed to keep the population obedient and ultimately stuck. But this mentality is simply a false belief that stunts progress, innovation, art, and every other creative pursuit that can change the world. Anyone can break free from this system if they choose. It is terrifying to do so, but it’s the only way to make a difference.
Never stop learning and sharing knowledge
I believe that the more you learn, the more you open your mind to new ideas and possibilities. I also believe that sharing what you learn is like giving a gift. There is nothing more special than turning a light on for someone else because of what you taught them. When ideas are spread and knowledge is shared, we make progress as a society.
Seek adventure and explore the unknown
Adventure pushes you past your comfort zone and self-imposed limiting beliefs. It gives you new ideas and perspectives that change your perception of reality. Exploration is about taking risks, embracing the unknown, and trying things that have no guarantee of success.
Practice environmental stewardship
Everyday, we make hundreds, if not thousands, of decisions that impact the environment. From the sunscreen you use to the car you drive, you are either consciously or unconsciously shaping our relationship with the land. Everyday, we have the opportunity practice better, more sustainable ways to make these decisions. We can, and should, choose to practice behaviors that promote responsible use, conservation, and protection of the environment.
Live Mindfully
Living mindfully is about awareness of the present moment and consciously paying attention. When we live mindfully, we can truly experience life to the fullest. We become aware of what serves us and what doesn’t. We make better decisions. Mindfulness is the necessary first step to connecting and creating. It guides us towards our best selves.
Work with purpose
The most important work is work that leaves the world a better place than you found it. When you do work with purpose, it creates positive change in our communities and our environment. Do everything as if it will make a difference, even if you are not exactly sure how it will make a difference (yet).

Why I Created This Website

The Story behind this project

As a natural scientist and passionate, lifelong outdoor adventurer, I have always been frustrated by a lack of awareness of environmental issues and meaningful resources to help people become more environmentally conscious.

In 2019, I ended up working as an outdoor guide at Rocky Mountain National Park where I was able to share my love of the outdoors as well as my knowledge of the natural world with travelers from all over the world.

It was during this time that I realized that a connection to nature was the most powerful means of waking people up to the problems that or planet is facing today. Problems like the climate crisis and the sixth mass extinction.

That job was a transformative experience for me. I saw people cry when they saw the mountains for the first time in their lives. I heard people ask heart-felt questions about the the glaciers they saw melting before their eyes. I felt the true, child-like excitement of urbanites who saw wildlife in their natural habitat.

Most importantly, for the first time, I saw indifferent people start to care.

While the academics that I had spent most of my career working with viewed the environmental crisis as a hopeless lost cause, this experience felt optimistic.

When people see, feel, and experience nature on a personal level, they not only develop an appreciation for it, but they are more likely to more likely to take action to protect it.

I started to believe that the source of the change we desperately need to heal the planet, and ourselves, might just start with connecting people to nature.

From my own personal experiences, I knew that this connection could be meaningfully developed through art and education.

Less than a year later, when the world came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, I started building this website as a resource for people interested in deepening their connection with nature through photography and outdoor education.

I see my work as a photographer, environmentalist, and educator as a way to ultimately help people become more environmentally-conscious in their everyday lives.

I hope that the content on this website inspires and empowers you to create art and connect to nature. I hope that this connection helps you become your happiest, healthiest, best self. And, I hope this inspires and empowers you to create positive change for our planet.

A Short Bio
Originally from Houston, Texas, I left home when I was 18 to study natural science and pursue outdoor adventure.
In 2011 I received a BS in Evolutionary Biology from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2014 I completed my MS in Evolutionary Biology at The George Washington University.  
Throughout my studies, I specialized in paleontology, phylogenetic systematics, and taxonomy.
My academic and professional career in paleontology encompassed over 15 years of research, teaching, and consulting.

I have conducted research in affiliation with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the US National Park Service. See my other research affiliations below.

I'm proud to have written this and co-authored this.

I've been part of field expeditions all over the American Southwest. The coolest thing I've ever dug up was this.
Today I'm grateful to live in beautiful Colorado - a place that feels like a dream to call home.

When I'm not reading, writing, or working on creative projects, you will probably find me either training for marathons or adventuring in the mountains with my camera and dog Lambchop.

Past Academic and Professional Research Affiliations

A Short Bio
Originally from Houston, Texas, I left home when I was 18 to study natural science and pursue outdoor adventure.
In 2011 I received a BS in Evolutionary Biology from The University of Texas at Austin, and in 2014 I completed my MS in Evolutionary Biology at The George Washington University.  

Throughout my studies, I specialized in paleontology, phylogenetic systematics, and taxonomy.
My academic and professional career in paleontology encompassed over 15 years of research, teaching, and consulting.

I have conducted research in affiliation with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the US National Park Service. See my other research affiliations below.

I'm proud to have written this and co-authored this.

I've been part of field expeditions all over the American Southwest. The coolest fossil I have ever unearthed is this.
Today I'm grateful to live in beautiful Colorado - a place that feels like a dream to call home.

When I'm not guiding trips or working on my business, you will probably find me either training for marathons or adventuring in the mountains with my camera and canine companion Lambchop.

Past Academic and Professional Research Affiliations

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"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." - Henry David Thoreau