Marine Biology Major Committed to Teaching the Public About Wildlife
Reginald Walden ’19 has created a podcast about invasive species and marine conservation, and he’ll continue to educate the public through his work with the U.S. National Park Service.
May 21, 2019
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
As Commencement approaches, we’ll introduce you to some members of the University’s Class of 2019. Next up is Reginald Walden ’19, a marine biology major who studied in the Bahamas, who is now heading to North Dakota to educate the public through his work as a park ranger at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Reginald Walden ’19, a marine biology major with a minor in communication, initially wanted to create a series of videos for his senior thesis. He ultimately settled on creating "The Walden Watch: A Marine Invasive Species Podcast," which will soon air on WNHU, the University’s award-winning radio station.
"I integrate a lot of my personal experiences to make the podcast more relatable," said Walden, whose podcast is also available on SoundCloud. "In a lot of edutainment, the focus is on integrating entertainment into the educational content, but I present the information so that the educational content itself is entertaining. I find ways to connect the content to people, so that they care about the environment, and offer ways they can help."
Many of the personal experiences that Walden discusses took place when he studied abroad in the Bahamas. While working at Gerace Research Center on the island of San Salvador, he saw firsthand how invasive species and climate change are impacting the island’s environment and wildlife.
"I saw how much damage was caused by invasive species on the island," said Walden. "For example, the San Salvador rock iguana, an endangered species, was down to less than 500 because of the impact of invasive species and human hunting."
As part of an aquaculture course, Walden studied Asian shore crabs, an invasive species. Walden observed that the animals could survive in a wide range of temperatures and could camouflage themselves remarkably well.
"I find ways to connect the content to people, so that they care about the environment, and offer ways they can help."Reginald Walden ’19
A contributor to The Charger Bulletin, the University’s student-run newspaper, Walden endeavored to educate the campus community about his work. He wrote articles about environmental issues, including a story about legislation that he believes threatens to weaken the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Walden, who will begin his career as a park ranger at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, will soon be educating the public on an even larger scale. His work will focus on teaching visitors about the park’s wildlife, ecology, and historical significance.
"I mentioned my podcast in my resume, and the hiring manager said that she wanted me to create similar content for the U.S. National Park Service," said Walden, a former park ranger for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Cape Cod Canal. "I’m looking forward to this opportunity. This is one of my favorite national parks."