For many people there is a distinct division between science and literature. Okay, let me back up a little bit.
When aspiring college students consider what they want to do for the rest of their lives and which major is conducive for that aspiration, they typically choose either a STEM field or something more liberal, such as art or communications. Now I know there is more to life than STEM degrees and liberal studies but bear with me. When I decided to be an English major it felt like a door was closing on the science-based portion of my life. In my personal experience, when I chose my major I was essentially cementing myself to one idea, one field, one life course. As I’ve grown in my studies and met people who are pushing the boundaries between occupations I ultimately came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a division between studies; that everything is interconnected.
My dear reader, you likely came to a similar conclusion long ago. The arbitrary lines we draw between fields of thoughts are just that: arbitrary. Everyone needs to write, no matter their line of work, and most jobs require critical thinking and application of the scientific method, even if they are not necessarily science-based.
That being said writing and science often go hand in hand, especially when you view science through the lens of environmental conservation and activism. I interviewed three of my friends who are making strides in the outdoor community about their thoughts on writing and what they had to say further proves my point that writing and the outdoors are better together.
Sam works with a lab at Florida State University documenting the effects of climate change and pollution on north Florida’s sea turtle population. She drew a distinct line between writing and composing (the former used strictly for data and facts while the latter is personal and artistic) but admits that both are beneficial to her work.
Jimmy is a fierce lover of the environment and a budding conservationist. He writes about his personal interests – climbing, skating, surfing – but also about issues and topics that he believes people need to hear. Jimmy understands that he is always learning and growing, and he uses his writing to help others do the same.
Elizabeth Van Eepoel
Liz is often out on a boat doing research on sharks with Florida State University’s marine lab. Like the others, she also views writing and composing as two separate entities; one better suited for scientific documentation while the other as a creative outlet. While writing and composing are fundamentally different, each can be used to achieve the same goal, which for Liz is the expression of ideas, knowledge, and feelings.
I am incredibly lucky to live in a community that feels so strongly for the outdoors. These interviews taught me a lot about how people from different corners of the scientific community view and interact with writing and composing, and allow me to discover for myself how writing and nature go hand in hand. Listen to the interviews below and hear for yourself what these three individuals have to say about writing, composing, and the role both play in their everyday lives.