My name is Danielle Ivey and I am a naturalist, professional ecologist, and artist. I have spent most of my life in Florida and am a native. I have always been an outdoorsy person and I have notice in the last 20 years how much growth has effected our dwindling natural areas and how much the average person has lost their connection with the natural world. My goal is to get people outside and create a community of people who are passionate in conserving the natural areas we have and learning more about nature through pictures, word, and numbers.
I have loved the outdoors and art for as long as I can remember. My goal going into my first 2 years of college (that took me 5) was to become an animator at Disney. Life had a different plans. After looking at my work schedule and the local University's animation degree schedule , I realized even if I was accepted, it would put me in massive amounts of debt. I was told by a friend about a small liberal arts college that had grants and all classes were at night. So I went to Rollins college night program (Hamilton Holt program) and majored in Environmental Studies and Growth Management. I was able to keep my job at a local bike shop (another big love of my life) and get through Rollins in 3 years. Better late than never! For the last 20 years I have worked in various roles of the environmental profession. From lake restoration (Lake Apopka restoration project), compliance and enforcement for wetlands and surface waters (DEP), permitting (OCEPD) and finally land management with both Volusia and Hillsborough Counties, I have had a lot of great professional experiences. I spend most of my spare time reading, creating art, journaling in nature, hiking, kayaking, biking road and off road, orienteering, birding, and any other outdoor activity I can find. I have a vast knowledge base of Florida habitats, the flora and fauna that reside in said habitats and art practices. With all of my employment opportunities I was required to assist or lead informal educational opportunities. When I lead nature journal outings I use a mixture of John Muir Laws teachings (If you don't know who he is stop and Google him, he is an amazing human) The Next Generation Science Standards and fun.
The whole idea of this journey is to unlock the wonder and natural connection we all have to nature. My why is to show people that you do not need to travel to the the ends of the earth to see wonderous nature (though travel as much as you can) but that there is a wonderfully abundant array of nature around you. Even if it is just a field or retention pond in your neighborhood there is always something to marvel. I want to make sure that all I do is accessible to everyone, regardless of knowledge, drawing skills, science skills, or financial situation. Nature and the wonder it brings is meant for every single person.