I love sycamore trees for the elegant shape of their limbs, the subtle shades of their mottled bark, and the way that the bone-white branches at the very top catch sunlight. I also love them because they prefer to grow with their feet in water, so seeing them during a walk through the woods is always a welcome sight. It means there’s something interesting to explore up ahead.
Favorite thing to do when not working:
Long, slow observational walks through the woods, mountains, marshes, desert. If not on foot, then by four-wheel drive!
My mother. As a single mother she earned a master’s and doctorate degree while working and raising her children. She also maintains an effervescent curiosity and sensitivity towards the world that influenced my own trajectory in blending art and science.
The most thumbed, torn, and dog-eared books in my library are Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (semi-autobiographical magical realism from the best sci-fi author), and The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (metaphysical, psychological, and sensual – the book is so much richer and deeper in comparison to the movie).
Music that instantly puts Sarai in a good mood:
Afrobeat music! Especially 1960s-70s High Life music from Ghana and Nigeria. It’s impossible to stay still when you hear it.
Sarai is originally from:
I grew up in the muddy and the misty hills of Appalachian Ohio.
I am a grade A vintage clothing hunter! I think of thrift stores as contemporary museums of local culture and find them to be a great snapshot of the character of a place. I would love to see people in the United States embrace reuse and repair as a primary mode of consumption, including fashion.
Most memorable experience in nature:
While volunteering with Moehau Environment Group on the Coromandel Peninsula in Aotearoa New Zealand (2014), I got to cradle a wild brown kiwi in my arms while her stats were taken. She fell asleep and I could have happily held her all day, she was so light, soft, and warm. The field work of kiwi conservation is remote, steep, difficult, and constant. Seeing them at close range and holding one truly made every minute of it worthwhile.
It’s a hot summer day here in Charleston, so I am thinking about Mexican paletas! Guava or honeydew or avocado lime, por favor.
Further ReadingMy Experience as a Biohabitats Intern
My Experience as a Biohabitats Intern
Biohabitats’ Chris Streb on the Rewilding Earth podcast: restoring & reimagining urban environments
Breathing from Center: Preparing for Transition & Leading with Our Values
Get to know Cullen Simon, Mechanical Engineer
More From This AuthorGet to Know Water Resources Engineer Sydney Salzwedel
Get to know Jensen Hufnagel, Operations Assistant
E+D Podcast with Keith Bowers: The state of ecology and design in landscape architecture
Get to know Water Resources Engineer, Ellie Month
Get to know Julia Richter, Water Resources Engineer