Galuh Sekar Arum

galuh with a view behinde herTo Galuh, a naturalist is someone who has the care and love for their surrounding and environment.  Being a naturalist is an inseparable part of your life. You can be a naturalist just by picking up trash, you can be a naturalist when you love your pets. You can be a naturalists by doing all the things that could benefit your environment. Galuh is a masters student in the Coastal Science and Policy Program at UC Santa Cruz. Galuh first got into the naturalist world in 2001, when she was admitted for her undergraduate program in the Forestry Department at the University of Indonesia.  In Santa Cruz, Galuh was deeply inspired by chairman Val Lopez. She knew about the indigenous communities before coming to the US, but she soon felt like she was just scratching the surface after talking with chairman Lopez. Here are some accounts from Galuh’s interaction with Chairman Val Lopez:

Val started a conversation with us with human and the creator, and on and on and how nature is a part of their life and spirituality and everything they do revolves around nature, I didn’t realize until I talked to him how much they adorn nature. I wanted to cry when I talked to him, I felt so happy when talking to him about my spirituality values and naturalism value. I loved the idea of coming to Santa Cruz and being introduced to someone like him and getting to know about the lands history and rich biodiversity and all diversity is really enriching for me as a naturalist.”

In Santa Cruz, Galuh most enjoys walking around the redwood forests and awing in their majesty. Galuh thinks the best way to get more people involved in the naturalist community is to just slowly introduce them to hikes and the environment in small manageable steps, and to show your enthusiasm while doing so. One barrier Galuh highlights, especially for international naturalists, is that natural history and ecology is not often seen as a viable career path, but with more investment and outreach we can make it clear, you can enjoy natural history, and make a career out of it.