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What is a Wannabe Naturalist?

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Quote by John Muir: The clearest way into the universe through forest

What is a wannabe naturalist, you ask? A wannabe naturalist is someone that aspires to be an amateur naturalist. From birdwatchers to gardeners, they care about the natural world and want to preserve it. Interest in being a naturalist as a career? Learn more here about What is a naturalist? The Wannabe Naturalist magazine focuses on the relationship between nature lovers, environmental education and storytelling through nature and landscape photography. Show your commitment with The Wannabe Naturalist Official Sticker Pack.

What is a wannabe naturalist?

According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary the word wannabe refers to a person who wants to or aspires to be someone or something else. They try to look or act like someone they are not.

A naturalist is someone who studies the natural world. Someone that cares about nature so much that they want to study and preserve it.

So, what is a wannabe naturalist? A wannabe naturalist is someone that aspires to be an amateur scientist, biologist, botanist, zoologist, birdwatcher, entomologist (for the love of bugs) or an enthusiastic home gardener.

Most humans have a desire to seek strong connections with nature and other forms of life, it’s known as Biophilia. The love of life and all living things. At The Wannabe Naturalist magazine we believe that exposure to nature make us happier, healthier and more creative.

Waterfall at Lafreniere Park, New Orleans, LA
Waterfall in Lafreniere Park, New Orleans, LA

Climate Change

Climate Change is real. These days it’s easy to be pessimistic on climate change and global warming, but there is cause for hope. Let’s think about it, the earth’s surface changes all the time. While the earth is constantly building mountains and landmasses, it is also constantly broken down by weathering and erosion.

Laurel Creek Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina
Laurel Creek Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC

Earth formed around 4.54 billion years ago. Approximately one-third the age of the universe, so the likelihood of frequent climate change is plausible! The main difference, in my humble opinion, is that man is more-than-likely to blame this time…

Climate change is an unprecedented problem requiring unprecedented global cooperation. However, global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have failed thus far. Similarly, landscapes across the country are suffering from the severe impacts of overuse. Children are losing their connection to the outdoors. The levee system turned the Mississippi river into a controlled canal and destroyed the natural coastline in the process. The Louisiana coast loses a football field of land every 45 minutes!

What is a Wannabe Naturalist? These are ideas and questions asked by someone that cares about nature and the environment.

What is ecology?

Ecology is the study of organisms and how they interact with the environment around them. An ecologist (scientist who studies the relationships between organisms and their environments) studies the relationship between living things and their habitats. Therefore, it is a branch of biology that studies the relationship between living organisms and their environment. Emphasized ecology from the perspective of the living components (specifically animals). Similarly, studies continues focus on the organism as the core of ecology.

Examples of Ecological Organization

  • Ecosystem: water, sunlight, energy – Sunset over Biloxi Bay in Alabama
  • Energy Cycle: Green Heron staking prey
  • Landscape: Area composed of a cluster of interacting ecosystems that is contiguous
  • Energy: Orange tiger lily flower solar energy and photosynthesis
  • Food web: Pond frog eco-system
  • Forests: Deciduous and mixed forest with fungi

Environmental Education

Environmental Education is broadly defined to mean “placing the focus on using best practice in education to address the social and environmental issues facing society.”

Therefore, for wannabe naturalists, environmental education increases awareness and knowledge as it relates to environmental issues or problems. In doing so, it provides the public with the necessary skills to make informed decisions and take responsible action.


Quote by a wise person

The complexity of climate science combined with the complicated political and cultural contexts in which people live makes climate change a particularly challenging topic to approach, no matter the educational setting.

In conclusion, the components of environmental education that benefit wannabe naturalists are:

  • Awareness and sensitivity to the environment and environmental challenges
  • Knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental challenges
  • Attitudes of concern for the environment and motivation to improve or maintain environmental quality
  • Skills to identify and help resolve environmental challenges
  • Participation in activities that lead to the resolution of environmental challenges

However, environmental education does not advocate a particular viewpoint or course of action. Rather, environmental education teaches individuals how to weigh various sides of an issue through critical thinking and it enhances their own problem-solving and decision-making skills.

The fun aspect of environmental education is exploring and discovering nature. For instance, take a look at these frequently asked questions about anole lizards.

The Book of Naturalists: An Anthology of the Best Natural History

The Book of Naturalists: An Anthology of the Best Natural History
William Beebe (Editor)

Anyone curious about animals, nature, or the history of biology will find much of interest in this ample and varied collection. Reflecting his infectious enthusiasm for the best natural history, Beebe’s personal assortment of favorites includes excerpts from massive sources, such as Audubon and Darwin, and intriguing pieces from lesser known authors most of us would not normally encounter. Arranged in chronological order, the small masterpieces here range from Aristotle to Rachel Carson. Each of them is introduced by an incisive and sometimes humorous description of its author.

William Beebe (Editor)

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Forest Bathing

Go to a forest. Walk slowly. Breathe. Open all your senses. This is the healing way of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, the medicine of simply being in the forest. In Japan, forest bathing—known as shinrin-yoku—and is very popular. Finally, it’s based on the idea that if a person visits a natural area and simply walks in a relaxed way, they will achieve calming, rejuvenating, and restorative benefits.

Forest Bathing.

Forest bathing, forest therapy, nature therapy or ecotherapy is immersing yourself in nature in a mindful way, to take advantage of a whole range of benefits for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health. Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) is real, and “forest bathing” (fully clothed, of course . . .) makes us happier, healthier, and more creative.

Clingmans Dome lookout in Tennessee

In 1982, the Forest Agency of the Japanese government came up with a shinrin-yoku plan to encourage the populace to get out into nature for mental and physical exercise and stress reduction. Similarly, in 2006, an organization began to give forests across the country the official designations of Forest Therapy Base or Forest Therapy Road. Visitors can take part in guided walks with experts in forest medicine or enroll in classes such as dietary management and hydrotherapy and receive medical checkups.

As a wannabe naturalist, you should embrace forest bathing.

The Wannabe Naturalist Magazine

The Wannabe Naturalist magazine was founded in 2020 by photographer, Master Naturalist, Master Gardener, and wannabe naturalist Eugene Brill. This digital and print magazine has a unique focus: relationship between photography and storytelling, and nature, the environment, and life. In conclusion, each issue is focused on a relevant theme and covers stories and images that matter to those who care about nature, animals, and plants. Finally, we offer a wide variety of products for sale, browse at our nature shop here.

About The Wannabe Naturalist Publisher

Eugene Brill headshot in red shirt holding binoculars
EUGENE L. BRILL is a landscape, travel, nature, and wildlife photographer and author.

Eugene is a wannabe naturalist and one of the original OG digital nomads. His passion is conservation and wilderness photography through the lens of an amateur naturalist. Eugene does not hold a PhD in environmental science, botany, or another scientific field. However, he earned an MBA in business/marketing and is a mentor to startup entrepreneurs.

However, he is a dedicated student of nature, as well as an avid gardener, sustainable landscape designer, and photographer. He does not speak with the vocabulary of taxonomic groupings, species and genera, but can communicate clearly with “Joe Public” in language easy to understand. Finally, Eugene is constantly improving his photography skills and his ability to translate science into plain English. He loves to share knowledge and his photography, and he believes that Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) is real, agreeing that “forest bathing” (fully clothed, of course . . . ) makes us happier, healthier, and more creative.

“Feeding my curiosity for history and my interest in photography, I further developed my love of the natural world that has since become the primary focus of my life. That makes me a wannabe naturalist”

Eugene L. Brill aka The Wannabe Naturalist™

Read about the difference between Rhododendrons and Azaleas here.

Attach a Woven Iron On Cloth Patch to your travel bag and read the blog posts about the Travel Destination: Spain and the New York Botanical Gardens Orchid Show here.

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