By Natalie Choules
Sean Washington has always felt connected to wildlife.
“When I was little, the one channel I knew was Animal Planet,” he says.
This love for animals manifested in excursions to science museums, receiving books about animals as presents every Christmas, and even birthday parties at the zoo in the middle of December. His face lights up when he talks about ecology. He will discuss it with genuine enthusiasm with anyone he meets.
Washington is a second-year Warner College of Natural Resources student studying Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. He is interested in ecology and the ways in which plants and animals interact. He is in awe of nature and is humbled by its offerings.
“Nature exists solely to prove us wrong,” he says. “You can’t put anything in nature in a box.”
Washington wants to show people that ecology is for everyone. When he was growing up, he says that he never saw himself reflected in any of the nature documentaries or TV shows that he watched, and he wants to change that for future generations.
Curiosity and inclusion
During his time at Colorado State University, Washington has created a student club and a social educational platform to teach people about ecology and get them engaged in an inclusive, inviting way. He started the Curiosity Saves the Universe club to explore various environmental topics and issues in creative ways. Each school year, the club is themed around a different ecosystem or landscape that needs our attention.
He also created “Sean’s Wild World,” a platform through which he designs shirts and other merchandise with information about various endangered species on them. He hopes his products will invoke conversation and awareness in organic, meaningful ways.
Washington credits his stepmom for encouraging him to pursue natural resources by teaching him that there’s no point waiting for the perfect moment when you can make the moment perfect.
His hope for the future is simply to continue making the moment perfect by pursuing what he loves and inspiring others to do the same. He believes in the importance of knowing yourself, and more importantly, discovering what your passions are.
“Ecology is for anyone who’s passionate. Anyone can do this,” he says. “Business as usual, what we’re doing in the world now, isn’t working. We have to be curious with new ways to think about these issues.”