Hello and welcome to Rewildology, the show all about conservation, travel, and rewilding the planet. I’m your host Brooke Mitchell-Norman, conservation biologist and adventure traveler.
If you’re anything like me, then your definition of a fun, summer day includes some sort of body of water. Maybe you live by a wide, flowing river and go boating on the weekend. Possibly one of your friends has an epic pool that you soak in every chance you get. Maybe you’re a beach bum and don’t care if you’re at a lake or by the sea as long as sand is involved.
Yes, we humans love water, and so does every other living creature on this planet. It is becoming clear that we’re approaching a water crisis between water security issues, climate change, and extreme weather events. While we’re being heavily affected by these changes, wildlife is being affected even more. Every time we alter a water source for our own use, the wildlife that depends on that source is faced with direct and indirect challenges for finding enough water to survive.
One scientist is working diligently to bring this issue, along with possible solutions, to the table. His name is Charles van Rees, Ph.D., the guest of today’s show. Charles grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and was a pretty disconnected kid in school, which I’m sure a lot of us can relate to. He didn’t discover his passion for nature until he became heavily involved in a seemingly unrelated practice – martial arts. By learning the way of the warrior, Charles realized that his skills had no meaning unless it benefited others, and he knew after taking an environmental science course that he wanted to dedicate his life to conservation. Charles and I chat in-depth about the current water crisis and its effect on wildlife. We also talk about a huge paper he’s currently working on that might change the way we view and handle freshwater ecosystems. In his free-ish time, Charles is also a regular host on The Nature Guys Podcast, a super fun show all about getting outdoors and exploring our backyards, which I highly recommend you all check out after listening to this show. We recorded today’s episode in my living room in Denver, Colorado as Charles was road-tripping from Montana to Georgia to start his new and exciting career at the University of Georgia. We had so much fun recording this conversation for you all and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Alrighty, everyone. Here is my conversation with Charles.
Key Takeaways & Highlights
💧 Charles’ story of growing up with ADHD and finding meaning through martial arts
💧 The way in which Charles found a connection between martial arts and the need to protect the planet
💧 Charles’ academic career and why he pursued a PhD
💧 Charles’ research and findings about the current water crisis
💧 How we can halt and eventually reverse the water crisis, thereby increasing biodiversity and water security for all life
Links & Resources
You can reach Charles by filling out the contact form on his website here.
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Check out other Rewildology Episodes.
Ep. 36 Show Notes | Rescuing An Endangered Bat From the Edge of Extinction with Iroro Tanshi
Ep. 35 Show Notes | For Rhinos’ Sake: Combating Wildlife Crime with Andre Robberts
How To Save A Tiger (Episode 34)