My name is Spencer. I’m really happy you’ve stopped by. I think we’ll get along well. Maybe you’ll find something valuable here, maybe I’ll learn something from you – that’d be a win-win.
About me… well, I am a human being. I had to get that out of the way, lest you confuse me for the words on your screen. My current path began with the breaking of a rope swing. Time warped as I fell twenty feet, my fall abruptly halted by bedrock, and I tumbled like a rag doll into the water. Bodily sensations were muted and the passage of time slowed. In this moment, a remarkable clarity and cutting fear united into an unmistakable “wake-up call”: I am not indestructible, and my time here is limited. This has since influenced my personal and professional choices as I shifted my energy into social and environmental issues.
I am a native of the Irish Hills, a scenic area known for rolling hills and lakes in southeast Michigan. I received a B.S. in Environmental Science (Saint Louis University), where I passed seven years making St. Louis my home. The city has more nooks and crannies than could be explored in a lifetime – I lost a bike trying. Following undergrad, I did a combination of traveling, interning, working, and pursuing a M.S. in Geographic Information Systems (Eastern Michigan University). For 4 years, I was fortunate to work with The Stewardship Network on community-led conservation and stewardship projects focused on habitat restoration, invasive species control, water quality, restoration agriculture, forest management, and climate change. My roles in academia and professional conservation forced questions that deepened the integrative, holistic, and inter-disciplinary elements of my work. And so, I am currently engaged in the Integrative Conservation and Anthropology doctoral program at the University of Georgia.
My applied research interests involve crossing conventional disciplinary boundaries to participate in the assembly of a novel type of integrative socio-ecological knowledge and practice. Of particular interest is the historical production, ongoing adaptation, and future resilience of placed-based ecologies, livelihoods, and communities. Personally, I enjoy hiking, biking, camping, and playing sports – these are a thinly veiled excuse to be outside, to move, and to engage with our beautiful world!
So, with all of that, I write… to discover, to understand, to listen, and to share.
This is a thread of my life. This blog is part of the path I chart as an individual, during which I inevitably come together with others to weave some joint tapestry of experience. For me, this is an outlet and invitation. I am learning as I go. Grab a paddle, open up to your adventurous spirit, and feel free to join me on the ride and see what we discover!