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Meena 'Loca' Walker (by Meena)

Meena WalkerSpending the early years of my life on the island of O’ahu, my earliest childhood memories are of exploring and camping on O’ahu’s windward coast. Later my family moved to the Pacific Northwest and I learned to love the magnificent rainforests, mountains, and most of all, the Pacific coastline. Though the beaches in the Northwest aren’t covered in yellow sand and half naked bodies, they are timeless, and virgin in their beauty with few signs of humans besides foot prints in the sand. Growing up in Lacey, which is nestled at the base of the Puget Sound in WA State, I was surrounded by the scent of cedars, pines and firs, the sounds of bird songs, and the sights of nature that will stay with me forever.

After a mind-opening trip to Mexico with my high school Spanish teacher and 12 other students, my taste for adventure abroad took fire. My mind was filled with my experiences in the rich natural landscapes and the beautiful culture of Mexico. The excitement I felt with that initial trip has influenced my desire to learn about this fascinating world and has motivated me to share this fire with others.

At The Evergreen State College I studied chemicals and microorganisms that affect the central nervous system and cognitive psychology. After acquiring enough credits for a Bachelor of Science, but nearing enough for a dual degree, I decided to postpone graduation. I returned to Hawaii and spent a year outdoors learning about the natural history, current ecosystems, and conservation of native species as a tour guide for O’ahu Nature Tours. The R&R flew by and I returned to Evergreen taking environmental studies and botany earning my dual degree before the year’s end.

I’m an eclectic student of life. I like to think of my learning and teaching style as an interdisciplinary approach incorporating the study of life with the act of living. I enjoy examining questions such as: why did a plant or animal evolve particular chemicals toxic to other species around it and how do those chemicals effect humans? How are humans modifying the environment and what impact does that have on the functioning of the ecosystem and thus, the quality of the future of human life? How does the evolution of the human brain and cultures effect human behavior towards biodiversity in the present? I’m an environmentalist/neuroscientist and therefore approach questions from this perspective. Scientists are a curious breed and I’m here to tie the applications of the science, behind the wild classroom, to your life. combination of science, outdoor education, and filmmaking. These experiences provide Rich the sensibilities and skills to create effective, and compelling stories from around the world.

Philosophy: "My personal goal is to lead a life, and define a career, dedicated to environmentally and socially sustainable ideals. This philosophy is reflected in the films that I make. I strive to make a difference and look for projects that support worthy causes. My goal is to capitalize on emotion and storytelling to produce media enriched with meaningful messages."

 

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