About the Almost Anthropologist

Hi, I’m Alison! I write about human-wildlife coexistence and human relationships with nature.

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I am a self-proclaimed ‘almost anthropologist’ because I ALMOST read, think, and write like an anthropologist…but not quite. I love anthropology and have two degrees in it, but I am also interested in wildlife conservation, environmental education, religion, writing, yoga, mindfulness and more. Sometimes my perspective tends more toward the spiritual/creative realm than the scientific.

As an educator I have taught school, environmental, and zoo programs for all ages. I am the Education Associate at The Clifton Institute, an environmental non-profit organization in northern Virginia. I am also a certified National Geographic Educator.

I am the creator of the Mindful Naturalists programs at The Clifton Institute. I developed the series as a combination my interests in nature and yoga/mindfulness practices. Each month, I design a new program to inspire mindful observation and nature appreciation with themes such as: Birding Like Buddha, Hiking Meditation, Songs of Dusk, Nature Yoga, Trees are our Teachers, and Haiku Hike.

As a writer, I am working on a children’s book about an inter-species primate friendship. I am also writing a nonfiction book about the Silver River macaques in central Florida, and I dabble in haiku. I encourage people to write about their encounters with wildlife and share the result on social media with the hashtag #leaveonlypoetry.

Current research projects:

  • Human perceptions of wildlife in Fauquier County, Virginia
  • Portrayal of nonhuman primates in North American children’s literature
  • Behavior, habitat use, and inter-species interactions of beavers and other aquatic pond mammals (muskrat, otter, mink) using camera traps (informal study) at The Clifton Institute

Past research projects:

Finally, I craft. You can read about my creative collaborations with beavers here or visit my Etsy store for wall decor for the wildlife, by wildlife!

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