REI Connection to Discover Life in America: Honing the Message

Todd – so glad to hear there’ll be an inventory. We need to know what’s there so we can protect it better.

Nolan –

I noticed an article today that illustrates my message for REI about creating new customers with citizen science – check out this passage:

Jasmyn Hill had been attending the same charter school in Southeast Washington for five years before she ever ventured into the woods that surround the campus.

“I had no idea what was in there,” said the 16-year-old junior with long turquoise nails and waist-length braids. She described herself as “not really the type who goes camping.”

But the city kid joined a “Green Team” at her school, and she now spends afternoons taking walks in the woods to learn about what lives there. She also helps set up cameras to record the wildlife. The experience has kindled an interest in environmental science, she said.

Here’s another recent article of interest speaking to the message I’m trying to communicate to REI (emphasis mine):

“This also dovetails with popular movements promoting health benefits of outdoor recreation, so managers could promote wellness benefits of wildlife recreation and get conservation benefits in return.”

Key point to "wildlife recreation:" people are buying, using, and wearing out gear to enjoy this consumer lifestyle & market.

Cabelas, Gander Mt., Bass Pro Shops are all competitors for sales of outdoor gear with REI – but they tend to focus specifically on the "hunting" market and lifestyle.

By supporting for biodiversity science, REI has an opportunity to capture and identify with the "biodiversity" market – a big tent that hunters, birdwatchers, herpers, wildlife photographers, and other fans of the natural world can share in calling their own.

This is the message I hope to bring to REI nationally – but I do want to keep including you at the local level as I hone the message.

Financial support from our local REI could really make a difference.



On Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 4:38 PM, Todd Witcher <todd> wrote:

Thanks Nolan
I still believe DLIA and REI are s good match so hopefully Tanner will have some success.
We are working with UT and Legacy Parks to do a Bioblitz this summer in the Urban Wilderness.
Another great opportunity for sponsorship,


About Tanner Jessel

I am a recent M.S. in Information Science graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science. I was formerly a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth). Prior, I worked for four years as a content lead and biodiversity scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biodiversity Informatics Program. Building on my work experience in biodiversity and environmental informatics, my work with DataONE focused on exploring the nature of scientific collaborations necessary for scientific inquiry. I also conducted research concerning user experience and usability, and assisted in development of member nodes with an emphasis on spatial data and infrastructure. I assisted with research designed to understand sociocultural issues within collaborative research communities. Through August 1, 2014, I was based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Posted on May 5, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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