Ryan’s broad interests include conservation, participatory research, and science education. Prior to attending the University of California, Davis, where he is pursuing a PhD in Ecology, he taught Ecology and Earth Science at the high school level for five years. He helped develop and direct the Coast to Coast program in which high school students traveled across the United States on a 10,000 mile, 30 day journey in a laboratory on wheels examining environmental case studies. For this and similar field based educational efforts, Ryan was awarded the 1999 Milken National Educators Award for Virginia. He has served on state and regional curriculum development committees that aim to enhance science education at the secondary level and continues to work at enhancing science education as a 2006 Chancellor’s Teaching Fellow at UC Davis where he will help teach Ecology of Grassland Herbivores. Ryan (pictured at right in photo) has worked and lived in Kenya for more than 10 years and is keenly interested in addressing the unique education and conservation opportunities and challenges in this part of the world. Using prescribed burning in Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, his PhD research seeks to understand how the maintenance of grassland heterogeneity may help conserve a suite of grazers that include zebra, oryx, hartebeest, impala, and Grants gazelle.