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In this podcast episode I interview Dr. Wallace J Nichols. Since I’ve spent most of my life in and around water this was a really cool experience for me and a super interesting interview. We talk about the neurophysiology of the impact of water on our mental and physical health and about the power of nature.
Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols is a scientist, wild water advocate, movement-maker, New York Times bestselling author, and dad.
He takes a slow, collaborative approach with leaders in businesses, government, non-profits, and academia to inspire a deeper connection with nature and inventive solutions to pressing issues.
J knows that inspiration comes sometimes through adventures, or simply by walking and talking. Other times through writing, images, and art. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires.
But he also knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves.
His research and expeditions have taken him to coasts and waterways across North, Central and South America, to Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe where he continually finds that the emotional connection to waters of all kinds–rather than force of finacial gain–is what keeps his colleagues and collaborators working hard to understand and restore our blue planet.
J. is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of OceanRevolution.org, an international network of young ocean advocates, SEEtheWILD.org, a conservation travel network, GrupoTortuguero.org, an international sea turtle conservation network, and #LiVBLUE!, a global campaign to reconnect us to our water planet.
He has authored and co-authored more than 50 scientific papers and reports and his work has been broadcast on NPR, BBC, PBS, National Geographic and Animal Planet and featured in Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, Fast Company, Scientific American and New Scientist, among others.
Nichols earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish from DePauw University, an Master’s of Environmental Management in Environmental Policy and Economics from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and his PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona’s School of Renewable Natural Resources where he received both a Marshall Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship. In 2010 he delivered the commencement address at DePauw University where he also received an honorary doctorate in science. In May 2014 he will receive the University of Arizona’s Global Acheivement Award.
He advises a motivated group of international graduate students and serves as an advisor to numerous non-profit boards and committees as part of his commitment to building a stronger, more progressive and connected environmental community.
J. lives with his partner Dana, two daughters and some cats, dogs and chickens on California’s SLOWCOAST, a rural stretch of coastal mountains where organic strawberries rule, mountain lions roam and their motto is “In Slow We Trust”. The Nichols chose to settle down in this area after trekking the entire 1,800 kilometer coast from Oregon to Mexico. “We like it here”, Nichols said.
Lately J and his team are working on the Blue Mind Collective, merging the fields of cognitive science and aquatic exploration, and sharing their findings across many diverse sectors of society with the goal of increasing appreciation for healthy oceans and waterways. His book Blue Mind will be published in summer 2014 by Little, Brown & Company.
You can get a copy of his book Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do here.
Produced by Mike Thompson.
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