Ryan has worked seasonally as an environmental educator for the Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center for 5 years, and spent 4 summers as a trail naturalist for Fish and Explore. In addition, he spent last summer leading public programming and developing curriculum for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's education department. He has also worked as a freelance nature/outdoor columnist, publishing with the Rappahannock News, and has projects pending at District Fray and Smithsonian Magazine. He has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science, concentrated in Conservation with a minor in Public Policy from George Mason University, where he is currently enrolled as a Master's student.
Ryan has long been a student of nature. Born and raised in the foothills of Virginia, he spent his childhood with an eye to the sky, watching hawks fly overhead and listening to the owls call through the woods. After spending a handful of years teaching natural history and environmental science in a variety of programs throughout the DC metro area, he started work with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute as a field ecologist. With SCBI, he studied tree development, forest health, and wild orchids.