Jay, with bleached hair and a tan button-up shirt, sits in a California forest.

National Geographic Emerging Explorer, anthropologist, digital storyteller, and wilderness guide, and educator

An award-winning researcher and producer, Jay has collaborated on campaigns across four continents on issues of human-wildlife conflict, habitat stewardship, HIV/AIDS, and women’s rights. His work can be found in Failed States, the award-winning Wolf OR-7 Expedition DocumentaryJourney to Empowerment: Women After the Taliban, and The Walking Collective Podcast. He is also a co-author of the forthcoming Wayfinding in the WestfjordsNotes on EcologyNotes on Walking, and the map Westfjords Trails Map.

In May 2021, Jay completed a MA degree in Individualized Studies at New York University and was recognized with the Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research for his thesis Coyotes, Urban Naturecultures, and Feral Cohabitation in the Anthropocene.

Research & Advocacy

How do we co-exist with all that is not human?

I take an ethnographic approach to unravel questions about our relationship to wildlife, wild places, and the non-human world around us. My studies within anthropology, the discipline long defined as the study of what makes us human, aim to share stories of how the non-human world shapes our lives, cities, work, histories, and more. I see this work as imperative towards shifting how we live our lives to survive in this era of mass extinction, habitat loss and fragmentation, and climate crisis. 

  • M.A. Thesis: Coyotes, Urban Naturecultures, and Feral Cohabitation in the Anthropocene (New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Studies, 2019-2021)
  • The Walking Collective Podcast (NYU Walking Collective, 2020-2021
  • The Wolf OR-7 Expedition Documentary (2013-2016)
  • The Last Wolf of California, 1924 (2015)
  • The Trouble of Visiting Tigers in Thailand (2015)
  • The Elephants of Thailand (2015)
  • The Rim of Africa Multimedia Trail Journal (2012-2014)

Guiding Experiential & Project-Based Education

Facilitating experiences for students based on seeking out real-world experiences and projects with real-world outcomes

I’m motivated to create a learning environment that I would have wanted as a student; full of challenge, real-world connections, and opportunities to pursue interests and passions. Whether through a teaching labs or group and independent projects, I strive to raise the bar of expectations, connect students’ learning to outside the classroom, and support alongside so that students see within their own reflections how capable they are as learners.

  • Gallatin STAC (Science, Technology, Arts + Creativity) Lab, 2019-2021
  • National Geographic Student Expeditions 2018, 2019
  • Teaching & Expeditions for SF Brightworks 2016-2019
  • Volunteer Conservation Camps in the Westfjords of Iceland, 2017, 2018
  • Tinkering School 2015, 2016
  • Walking group in the Westfjords of Iceland, 2015
  • Rim of Africa, 2012