My name is Kyle Brooks, and I am a naturalist, writer, and photographer living in the Appalachian hills of Southeast Ohio. I am currently employed as a public affairs specialist for the Wayne National Forest, where I work in the interdisciplinary space between science education, public communication, and environmental policy.
I received my B.Sc. in wildlife and conservation biology from Ohio University in 2017. During my time at Ohio University, I heavily involved myself in research, working as a field and laboratory technician with Dr. Maggie Hantak in the Dr. Shawn Kuchta lab, Dr. Anthony Gilbert in the Dr. Donald Miles, and with Dr. Viorel Popescu in his lab. I focused primarily on herpetological research, where I developed an appreciation of and interest in biogeography, microhabitat selection, and phylogenetics.
After graduating, I shifted my focus to the science education world. I am a firm believer that in order for people to care about the environment, they first need to have an understanding of it. Environmental education is a way to inspire care about the natural world, and ultimately motivate people to live sustainably. To help meet this aspiration, I worked for both the Clemson Youth Learning Institute and The Ecology School, where I taught elementary and middle school aged children about the natural world.
I came back to Ohio to work at the Wayne National Forest. I was first a photojournalist with the mission to tell the story of the Forest Service managers and the only national forest in the state of Ohio, and later transitioned to a public affairs specialist. Broadly speaking, my mission is to let people know what is happening on their public lands and how they can get involved, while also educating them on the science behind land management.
To learn more about my professional experience and background, I encourage you to check out my curriculum vitae!
Outside of work, I am an avid birder and traveler. I’ve been birding since middle school, and find the pursuit not only a great way to get out in nature, but also a way to see new and sometimes unusual places (like the ever-popular wastewater treatment ponds). When it comes to traveling, I strive to travel in a frugal and minimal manner. If I’m not roaming the hills and hollers of Ohio, you can often find me car camping and meandering through the country in search of birds, open skies, and tasty, local diners.