Hi, I’m Carley Fairbrother. I’m a teacher, ex-park ranger, and a nature nerd. I’m here to help you on your journey to nature nerdiness. Or maybe you’re already there. In either case, the welcome stands.
Nerding for Nature started off as a YouTube channel called The Last Grownup in the Woods (now called Nerding for Nature). I wanted an excuse to spend more time outside learning about nature. I knew a lot, but I had started spending too much time adulting than what is healthy.
Then two things happened: I remembered that I loved writing, and I realized I was burning myself out making “fluff” content on YouTube. Nerding for Nature was born out of YouTube burnout. I’ve strayed away from featuring hikes and towards educational content. I hope you enjoy!
My Journey to Nature Nerdom
When I was little, I wanted to be one of those cool biologists that you see in nature documentaries who live in the mountains (or some other exotic wild place) and study animals (preferably frogs). I was obsessed with wilderness survival. The SAS Survival Handbook was my bible and I’d spend my summers marching around my parents five acres (which is a decent sized kingdom for an 8-year-old) finding food and cooking it up in the fire pit. Also, catching frogs. I loved frogs. I still do.
After a year of working towards a biology degree, I switched to Fish, Wildlife, & Recreation program so I could get more field learning. I learned a whole lot about plants, soil, animals, and all sorts of nature stuff. I even spent a summer in a mountain research camp studying the ubiquitous, but fascinating, Columbian ground squirrel -just like I’d always dreamed of (sort of).
When I graduated, I worked in outdoor education for a few years before landing a backcountry park ranger gig in tiny, tiny town hours away from anything but mountains, trees, and relentless mosquito swarms. I got the chance to travel into some of BC’s most remote and wild parks. In the off seasons, I’d travel or count salmon for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. It was a fun life, but nomadism gets tiring.
So, I set out to find a home for myself and decide that I missed outdoor education. I decided to go back to school to get my education degree. I moved around quite a bit because I couldn’t quite shake my nomadic tendencies, but settled down on the cusp of the BC Rockies. I also got married, which is pretty awesome.