We had the good fortune of connecting with Christopher Wolff, water scientist, explorer and creator of the adventure science series Adventure Hydrology, and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christopher, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Naturalist, philosopher, and explorer Alexander Von Humboldt once said, “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world” and I couldn’t agree more. I like this quote because it is timeless, true and explains our world (and perhaps people) at this moment. When we, as humans, stay in one place we tend to view other cultures and foreign landscapes (and their stories) from a blurred lens of inexperience and perspective. For me, traveling, learning, and experience our world changes that narrow view. It sharpens my lens and helps focus my vision of our planet, its people, and the way we are all connected – for better or for worse. Plus, if we work to understand our world… perhaps we can save it. Together.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Adventure Hydrology is the best way to explore, understand & experience your world because it combines two elements that are foundational to humanity… Water & Exploration. Water: Water is the most important element on our planet. And as a Hydrologist, I often see the world through the lens of water but the neat thing is, everything is water. From food to clothing; from clouds to computers, from oil and gas to rivers and streams (ok, those last two are obvious) – everything we need, use, or want has some direct connection to water. Think about it. “Too much” water has the power to destroy mountains, carve valleys, wash away beaches, and alter the landscape for eons. “Too little” water and civilizations fall, crops die and humans struggle to survive. Heck, we (people) are 70% water and the one thing we are looking for in our universe, besides life, is water (which is essential to life on Earth). Water is and will forever be tied to the narrative of humanity’s timeline across our planet. Those stories are countless and always changing… and it’s Adventure Hydrology who is telling them. Adventure: Adventure is anything you want it to be. Simple as that. As an adventure athlete, for me “adventure” is often running, hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting, swimming, mountaineering, kayaking, snowboarding, rock climbing and/or trail racing (among other activities). But adventure is also wine tasting, wandering through a new city, jumping on a sailboat (or better yet a canoe), embarking on a road trip, or even taking a relaxing stroll on a beach. You don’t have to climb Everest, be an astronaut, or a scientist to be an adventurer. That’s because adventure is defined by you. As long as you are enjoying the moment, exploring something new, and learning about your world, you’re on an adventure.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My friend Australian Dave – in Australia they just call him Dave – flew to the “States” for a two-week trip. Before exploring Yosemite, the Sequoia’s, and Northern California’s Cascade Range on an epic road trip, this is what we did during his first full day in San Diego. 1. Sunrise over the Laguna Mountains / Imperial Valley | Mimosas & a dusty trail for Breakfast 2. Lunch at Alpine Brewery | Continuing the celebration with a Hoppy Birthday Brew or 2 3. Quick kayak at San Vicente | Paddled in the same water used to brew the beer we drank 4. Ocean Beach for tacos + surf | Australian Dave said his waves were better… I proved him wrong, South Beach tacos ONLY 5. Bike ride in around Mission Bay | Stopped by the rollercoaster and explore P.B and the Boardwalk via bike 6. Stroll through Balboa Park | Rose Garden and Panama 66 are must-visits 7. Zoo | In Australia the “Z” is pronounced as “ZED”… jokes on how to pronounce Zebra ensued (Zed-bra if you’re wondering) 8. North Park Pub crawl for dinner and drinks | 9. Hillcrest for late-night party | Because Hillcrest is a blast during late night and best drinks (and most affordable) in the City
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a big shout out to (1) my family, (2) the University of New Mexico & (3) the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service My family: for their love and support which helps a headstrong hydrologist (aka – water scientist) pursue his passion for storytelling and his goal to make science sexy, and/or help save the world. And to Ryan (my twin brother) for being the other half of Adventure Hydrology and Francy for her positivity and guidance. Big thanks to the University of New Mexico and it’s great teachers. And thank you for having one of the best water resource programs around. And if it wasn’t for the USFWS, and the opportunity to save an endangered species from a dying river, Adventure Hydrology would not exist. Because science is an adventure.