The Curious Human covers new (and sometimes old) science related to how human beings perceive and relate to non-human animals, ecosytems, each other and themselves. This includes research from the fields of biology, psychology, anthropology, development studies, indigenous cultures, and neurobiology, as well as geology and paleontology, geography, water resources, ecology, climatology and zoology.
To answer the most pressing global problems in science today, our approach is a collaboration of both human and environmental systems.
What’s in a Name?
We are curious humans, and we find humans to be curious creatures—as in the Alice-in-Wonderland sense: “Curiouser and Curiouser!”
STARRE VARTAN is The Curious Human’s founder.
Vartan is a writer, editor, and author with over a decade of experience covering issues related to the environment, conscious consumption and health (she’s most well-known as one of the early journalists covering sustainable design and ethical fashion). She has written for Audubon, New York, Metropolis, Whole Living (Martha Stewart), Plenty, Fairfield County Weekly and E/The Environmental Magazine. Online, her work has appeared on CNN.com, Yahoo!, Inhabitat, Elle.com, and more, and she is a columnist at MNN.com and a regular contributor to LuxuryTravel.About.com. Her creative nonfiction has been published at the American Literary Review.
Vartan grew up in the Hudson Valley with blocks of unscheduled time and acres to roam, which, combined with her grandmother’s early naturalist lessons meant she could ID all the birds, trees, mammals and amphibians in the woods and wetlands that surrounded her childhood home. An early science nerd, she won her 8th grade science fair with a project that explored how plant growth is affected by toxins, and studied starfish predation by gulls over one summer in Maine (while repeatedly listening to Nine Inch Nails’ “The Downward Spiral”; a perfect match of visual and audio, in her estimation).
She went on to graduate from Syracuse University with a BS in Geology, a BA in English, and a minor in Biology. After jobs as a science writer for a nonprofit, a screenwriter for nature/disaster movies for HBO, CBS and Discovery, editor for an educational magazine, and manage-editing several websites, Vartan earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University, during which time she completed her first book, published by St. Martin’s.
Vartan is now a San Francisco Bay Area-based freelance writer, writing and blogging teacher, and sustainability consultant.
JENNIFER VEILLEUX, Ph.D.
Jennifer Veilleux is a geographer and environmental scientist. She has worked for more than 15 years for a variety of interests on issues related to how people use resources and view their environment—specifically examining water use, human security, and indigenous communities.
At a young age, Veilleux’s tools of inquiry included a microscope, telescope, binoculars, field guides, bug traps, a camera, a tape recorder, and maps. She still owns these tools—minus the bug traps—and uses them in her work, which has taken her to every continent save Antarctica.
She earned her Ph.D. in Geography from Oregon State University, and her M.Sc. and B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Veilleux also holds certificates in Water Conflict Management and Water Security.
While studying and later working at Oregon State, Veilleux managed Aaron Wolf’s Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database and led research teams on related water security research. She has authored papers and articles in E/Environmental Magazine, Journal of Contemporary Water Research andEducation (JCWRE), Global Dialogue, Zamalek, the US Geospatial-Intelligence Foundation Monograph Series, and in the newspaper The Tamarack.
She created the blog The Way of Water in 2012 to share her research discoveries in real-time, as well as keep readers informed about any developments in the two dams she covered in her dissertation work: Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and Laos’ Xayaburi Dam.
Veilleux’s attraction to questions pertaining to water, the environment, and culture stems from a lifetime of tromping around beautiful forests, mountains, beaches, cities, and fascinating villages in more than 40 countries while witnessing the dissonance of irreversible change, pollution, inequity, overharvesting, globalization, and other unintended consequences of progress and modernization.