Jake is originally from:

Cleveland, Ohio. Happy to be back!

Favorite ecosystem and plant:

I’ve been fascinated by mangrove forests ever since I started my journey into ecological engineering. Not only do they have this rare and interesting look about them, but they exist in such a pivotal part of their ecosystems and contribute to ecological functions in ways we can learn so much from. As an arborist I also grew an affinity for several different tree species, but the Ginkgo especially is one of my favorites. I think the perseverance of this tree that is the last living species of an order that dates back almost 300 million years is endearing and their fan-shaped leaves are so unique.

Favorite thing to do when not working:

I enjoy playing basketball, hiking, snowboarding, drawing (urban sketching especially), and reading.

Role model:

From a career perspective I think Steve Irwin had an enormous impact on how I came to think about our natural world. I watched The Crocodile Hunter all the time growing up and his enthusiasm for sharing our world with species of all kinds and desire for lifelong learning permeated through the television screen. He was such an incredible science communicator, and the effects of his conservation efforts still reverberate today. Plus, I did a pretty great “Crikey!” impression as a kid.

Childhood career ambition:

An astronaut…still do kinda.

Favorite book and film:

Books: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, Movies: Back to the Future, My Cousin Vinny, and The Iron Giant

Music that instantly puts Jake in a good mood:

Mac Miller, Samia, Bill Withers, Lauryn Hill, Paul Simon and Waxahatchee.

Most memorable experience in nature:

Having traveled to Thailand and Nicaragua, I have several fond memories of those trips whether its meeting elephants and sea turtles or taking a bamboo raft down the Mae Taeng River during a torrential downpour, but one of my most memorable experiences in nature is seeing the Pryor Mountain wild horses during my time as an AmeriCorps volunteer with the BLM in Montana. They are one of the most significant herds of wild mustang left in the US being descendants of Spanish horses and having a high level of genetic diversity. I was fortunate enough to see part of the herd roaming the summit as the sun was setting while I camped there and it left me awestruck.

Further Reading

Get to know Water Resources Engineer Jake Radeff
Meet Conservation Biologist Nolan Schillerstrom
Get to know Allyson Gibson, Biohabitats Extern
Get to Know Graphic Designer Joey Marshall
Evolution: A New Leadership Team for Biohabitats

More From This Author

Get to know Water Resources Engineer Nate Wadley
Get to Know Water Resources Engineer Sydney Salzwedel
E+D Podcast with Keith Bowers: The state of ecology and design in landscape architecture
Get to know Senior Restoration Ecologist, Rachel Spadafore
Get to know Allyson Gibson, Biohabitats Extern