All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.” ~ John Muir
Soraya is a biologist/ecologist, independent journalist and wilderness enthusiast. She is the author of the book Wild Kinship where she shares some of her most intuitive and intimate moments with the Natural world. Soraya has also hiked around 4,000 backcountry miles, including ~ 2,800 miles of the Continental Divide. Her journeys traversing wild places continues in which she shares some of her experiences here on The Wandering Naturalist. Soraya earned a BS from UTEP in biology with a concentration in ecology/evolutionary biology. Her focuses are on the acknowledgement and protection of the wild as well as maintaining a deep sense of connection to our precious natural world.
First and foremost, I believe in the preservation of wilderness; that which is untamed, undominated, uninfluenced and uncontrolled by anthropogenic means. An ecological system unfettered by man is a healthy one.
From a very young age I fell in love with the natural world. From catching bull frogs to discovering wildlife tracks along rivers, to finding salamanders in the woods and discovering an endangered Luna Moth in my own back yard. I was born a naturalist! It is who I am. The interconnectedness of all wild living and non living things in nature, has always been apparent to me. As a young girl I was passionately concerned with defending and protecting wildlife and their habitats. With that passion, I earned a BS in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and continue to focus my energies in wildlife study and conservation.
This life-long passion has led me to assist in various field research experiences. From working as a student assistant in an archaeological excavation in a cave in the Sierra Diablo Mountains of West Texas or assisting in a herpetology lab measuring and recording key morphological features of an exotic African tree frog species, to assisting fellow colleagues in catching and releasing lizards and snakes in the desert. Although my past field research experiences involved handling wild animals, I believe in allowing animals the freedom to abide in natural behavior. That means minimal (research related only) to no contact with animals is best.
I have a special affinity for big cats. Protecting and restoring big cat populations is essential in saving our most biodiverse wild places. In fact, this is true of all of our top predators. Healthy populations of predators such as wolves, grizzlies, black bears, pumas and more help keep wild ecosystems balanced and thriving. Predator protection will always be a special interest of mine.
Whether I am hiking in the local mountains near my home or visiting another state/country, I maintain a watchful eye and with camera in hand I continue to track and record animals and plants I cross paths with. I also try my best to report on current ecological concerns I encounter or find relevant. Since this is a personal blog, most stories will be about my personal experiences and observations during my journeys into the natural places I visit. We live on an amazingly diverse planet, I simply wish to share my experiences of my travels to natural places and stay as close to wild nature as much as possible.
I do this for the [truly] wild.
(FYI: I recommend viewing this blog on a desktop. If you are viewing this on a mobile you will see a description of the site and a feature photo at top of main page. Articles are the photo squares below featured photo. Click on photo squares to read articles.)
**Check out some of my plant and animal sightings here.
***All photos on this site are my own and are copyrighted. They may not be used in any way or form otherwise. If you wish to use them for study please ask my permission.***