Christian Schwarz

christian withmushrooms. he looks a bit youngChristian views naturalists as people who are interested and in-tune to what goes on in the world around us. Just going hiking does not mean you are a naturalist. There are plenty of people who are outdoors for most of the day (hikers, mountain bikers) who would not be considered naturalists. You need to study and observe and be in-tune with nature. Christian originally pursued a degree in Ecology at UC Santa Cruz, but decided it was not for him. He ended up leaving the program and began doing field work instead. During this time, he discovered a deep passion for fungi and started accumulating knowledge through exploration and photography. Eventually his work led him to become an expert who now also teaches about mushrooms and fungi and eventually write his own book on the topic. One barrier that Christian faced as a naturalist that he believes many other young naturalists face is money. Jobs are far and few, and often pay is low so it is hard to live in the place you work, especially Santa Cruz. Christian also believes that the naturalist community lacks a strong support system for younger naturalists who often struggle and do not know how to expand their networks to seek additional support. He thinks making the community welcoming is one of the more important factors to recruiting new naturalists.