Chris grew up in the wonderful southern college-town of Gainesville, Florida, where the weather is hot, the food is greasy, and where (is his opinion) the highest concentration of amazing people in the world exist. Under these conditions and with the constant support and encouragement from his loving family and friends, Chris began life on the path of wanting to help people, appreciating nature, and being a conscious world-citizen.

He loved his home so much that he decided to stay in Gainesville and attend the University of Florida, for better or for worse. He floundered academically at this school for three years, with out-of-character stints of wanting to be a doctor or engineer or something, but spent most of his extracurricular time becoming a well-rounded athlete, growing an enormous and inspiring group of friends, and discovering what he really wanted to do in his life.  In his last year, thankfully, he got it (somewhat) together and figured out he could best help the world, his parents' sanity, and himself, by graduating. It just so happens that around this time he fell in love with anthropology and ecology, and everyone lived happily ever after.

Photo Taken By Jenna JohnsonWell that's not the end of the story, but it is somewhat true! After graduating Chris went on to Hawaii for awhile to do conservation work. He spent a few summers with Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps, permanently hooking him on teaching, putting people back into conservation, and, yeah, surfing. He decided to stay for a bit longer and got a job at Pu'u Kukui Watershed Preserve aka "Most Beautiful Place on Earth." Here he passed a wonderful year of his life learning about conservation and land management in real-time, falling in love with Hawaii, and spending time with a wonderful collection of people up in the pineapple fields and high Hawaiian rainforest.

You would think Chris would still be there. For some reason, though, Chris bought a one-way ticket to the Philippines at the end of that year. He came to the Philippines to visit his lovely grandma, and took that opportunity to see what conservation was like on his maternal land (Chris is Half-Filipino). What he found moved him. He found a country with all of the problems in the world, social, environmental, governmental, and yet an absence of resources and ability to deal with them. He' spent the year in the Philippines volunteering with different organizations and conservation researchers in order to better understand the country's complex dynamics, with the hopes of creating a career and lifestyle based around helping this beautiful and extraordinarily unique place. 

Chris is now a Master's student at the University of Florida in the Kawahara Lab, working on an endemic group of Leaf Mining moths in the Hawaiian Islands.

About Chris in general/the basic building blocks: He loves music, lives for the outdoors, and wouldn't be anything without the people in his life. He is an aspiring conservation biologist and wants to spend his career protecting and restoring native tropical ecosystems and assisting the people who depend on them. He is a photographer, full-time learner, and constantly hungry person. He (strictly) dabbles in being tech-savvy, mechanically-inclined, and other dorky but useful things. He appreciates good people, unique moments, and being happy and healthy. If you'd like to know more about Chris you can follow him on his blog. But if you'd like to collaborate, know how you can help, or strike up an interesting conversation, you can email him here!

Thanks for reading!