Happy New Year! And Big Changes for Nature’s Archive!

#59: Alison Pollack – Finding and Photographing Slime Molds Nature's Archive

Note: it sometimes takes WordPress a few hours to update the podcast player to the latest episode. Apologies for the delay. You can, however, hear the latest episode on all the usual podcast players, even if the link above is still showing the previous episode.

Summary

Regular episodes return next Monday with a fascinating interview that delves into an ecological mystery that unravels a connection between a threatened butterfly, cars, cows, and soil ecology. You don’t want to miss this one!

This is a small episode with a big announcement about my own unlikely environmental journey, and how you can help me.

I currently work at a large silicon valley based global tech company that you’ve very likely heard of. I find that work to be engaging and challenging, and I work with many amazing people. 

However, for over 10 years I’ve had a nagging feeling that I need to move into the field of ecology or habitat restoration. Over time, I’ve refined my focus, but that nagging feeling has only grown, and it has turned into an undeniable passion and calling for me.

Me Backpacking in the Sonoran Desert

I started this podcast as a way to feed that feeling. I wasn’t exactly sure what path it would take me on, but I knew that it would be beneficial, and at least take me a few more steps down the road. And wow, was that an underestimate!

I’ve learned how others built their careers, I’ve improved my communications skills, I’ve met some really amazing people, and I’ve learned more than I could have imagined. It has also triggered many ideas and new passions, and led me to expand my volunteering efforts.

During this time, I created a personal vision and have developed a digital media portfolio focused on conservation and environmental education. Some of these will launch in 2022, and some need more development.

But one thing I know is that I won’t achieve my vision while still devoting so much energy to my day job. So it’s time to make the leap. I’ll be leaving my tech job in April so that I can devote all of my energies to my conservation vision.

While I still don’t know my exact path, I have good options and my next steps are clear. And I know that this podcast will continue to be one element of that path, if for nothing else, because I enjoy it.

But leaving the certainty of my day job, and its salary and benefits, is uncomfortable to say the least.

For that reason, I’ve launched a Patreon page to give you, my listeners, an opportunity to help me achieve this dream. If you choose, you can support the production costs of the show by becoming a monthly contributor. There are four option levels, and each level offers fun perks, including access to exclusive content, die-cut stickers, special access to learn about future guests and ask questions in advance of episodes, and occasional AMAs (Ask Me Anything), where we can chat about anything – show ideas, questions about how I use iNaturalist, favorite nature encounters, the latest field guide I’ve added to my collection – whatever! 

You can check out my patreon here.

If you are unfamiliar with patreon, many creators use it to offset production costs or even create an income stream. My goal right now is to simply cover my production costs. This is currently about $75 a month, and will grow to about $150 a month with my 2022 plans. You may wonder what costs go into producing audio content? Well, my recurring costs include paying a podcast hosting service, website hosting, domain names, and software licenses for editing and production software. And I’ll tell you more about my 2022 plans and what those will take in the coming weeks and months.

I hope you will consider becoming a patron.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone for their support in listening to and sharing the show. I am constantly surprised at the reach of the show. It’s been fun and surprising to get emails and DMs from strangers discussing episodes or suggesting topics. More and more I also encounter listeners at various nature events I attend! 

The podcast is gaining a lot of traction, with each month topping the previous – often by hundreds of downloads. I’ve had listeners in 80 countries, and recently ranked number 19 in Apple Podcasts nature category. 

So please help me maintain this momentum, grow my reach, and achieve my goal of transitioning to full time conservation.

And if you don’t want to contribute through patreon, please take a moment and rate my podcast on apple podcasts, spotify, amazon, and/or podchaser. Better still, share your favorite episode with whichever nature groups you are part of. 

Thank you again for a wonderful 2021 and I look forward to even greater things in 2022.

And my regular episodes return next Monday with a fascinating interview that delves into an ecological mystery that unravels a connection between a threatened butterfly, cars, cows, and soil ecology. You don’t want to miss this one!

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While you are welcome to listen to my show using the above link, you can help me grow my reach by listening through one of the podcast services (Apple, Google, Stitcher, etc) linked on the right. And while you’re there, will you please consider subscribing?


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