Ryan McIntyre has long been a student of nature. Born and raised in the foothills of Virginia, he spent his childhood in the woods, learning the names of trees and bugs. After spending a handful of years teaching natural history and environmental science in a variety of programs throughout the DC metro area, he began working with the Smithsonian as an intern, first studying orchids at SCBI and later assisting the Fisheries Conservation Lab at SERC. Between volunteer work as a raptor handler, he is working on his Master’s degree at George Mason University, where he studies invasive plants and their effect on biodiversity.
To the uninitiated, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute sounds like a weird rumor. I first learned of it as a teen, trekking the Appalachian Trail with the Boy Scouts. Stumbling down the trail, we came to a chain link fence with U.S. PROPERTY signs tacked up along its length.