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DRWD40 teams up for Climate Rise

Wade is a biologist and streamer who goes by DRWD40 on Twitch and YouTube. We’re excited to be partnering with Wade to help raise funds for our Environmental Justice Action Grants and bring more climate action to the millions of folks who watch Twitch. You can catch Wade live on Twitch this coming Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 AM-Noon Eastern Time. Here’s the full schedule and we have an interview with him below as well. Wade may be adjusting this schedule for weather, so be sure to check his Twitch for updates!
Power for our Planet Thursday Jun 2  Day 1 I will be putting together the solar charging system in the backyard. The goal of this system is to charge my stream gear using only solar power. Paddle for our Planet June 03 Day 2 I will be paddling to the islands in the river to go metal detecting and bring back as much garbage as I can. Lots of people party out there so there is lots of trash. Plant for our Planet June 4  Day 3 we will be going to Florida native plant nurseries and then planting some plants in my backyard. Any donations $50 or more will get a a plant bought in their name. Peddle for our Planet June 5 Day 4 we will be riding the bike and doing some birding in the Florida marshes! Picking up for our Planet (Bonus day if we reach $1500) June 6  This is a bonus stream on Monday morning where we will go beach metal detecting!
We’d love for all the Climate Ride community to stop by and to support and learn from his efforts! Climate Ride (CR): First off, why’d you decide to participate in Climate Rise? Wade (WD): I’ve always loved cycling and the environment, so this seemed like a great way to showcase both those loves. Also, I love to show new people the good that we can do on a platform like Twitch. Yes, it might be known as a gaming platform, but it can be a great educational outreach tool and bring awareness towards things like the environment and climate change. CR: How’d you get involved with Twitch and streaming? WD: I began streaming in January of 2018 by playing games like a proper Twitch streamer. I slowly grew my community and began adding pieces of educational content. My original goal was to provide free tutoring in biology for those who needed it, but it turned into something even more awesome. I love being able to share my knowledge with others and get them excited about science and learning. In October 2019 I moved my stream outdoors, and now I get to share my love of nature and hobbies. We go metal detecting, go on hikes, do bird, insect, and plant identifications, go kayaking, watch rocket launches, and do some cycling. I love doing outdoor live streaming and love the tech behind getting it working. Streaming has been an amazing adventure and hobby, and I’m happy I can share these things with everyone. CR: What does fundraising for the Environmental Justice Actions Grant Program through Climate Rise mean to you? WD: Being able to help disadvantaged communities learn more about the importance of climate change and how it could affect them is very important. Their communities will also be at highest risk due to the consequences of climate change, so any help is significant. Fundraising and asking for money have always been difficult for me so I like to make sure I choose organizations that I can be passionate about while asking for funds. Fundraising for the Environmental Justice Action Grant Program was an easy yes. CR: Have you seen climate change impacting the area where you live or felt the effects of climate change yourself? WD: I live on the east coast of Florida so we are always worried about rising sea levels and stronger hurricanes. Also, more invasive species can make Florida their home and add pressure to our native species. Florida already has some invasive species issues and to add more to that for not only the wildlife but also plant life could make things really tough on the native habitats. CR: Besides running a successful stream, you’re also anatomy and physiology, genetics, microbiology, and immunology professor? How do you find the time to do all that? Do you notice and think about climate impacts in your work? WD: Oh it’s tough, that’s for sure! Streaming is my side fun and I try to get out at least twice a week during the busy parts of the semester. Now that it’s summer and I’m only teaching a few courses, I have more time to get out and stream. I never think of streaming as work. I’d be getting out and doing these things regardless of cameras being attached to me. It’s just an added bonus that I can share these experiences with the world. Most of my local friends have also moved away so this makes it so I can bring virtual friends with me everywhere I go. As for climate impacts in my work, I don’t notice too much since most of what I teach is human biology rather than environmental science. I touch on it a bit in genetics when discussing speciation and how shifting climates could allow interactions between species that never interacted before (such as the polar bear and grizzly) leading to potential hybrids. You could also have damaging effects if a species moves in that threatens a native species. CR: We’re seeing exactly that interaction here in the west as climate change allows beetle populations to move in and decimate white pine populations, an essential food source for grizzly bears. It’s amazing how climate change is affecting native species. Is there anything else you think we should know about? WD: Not much that I can think of! I just love getting outside and sharing my experiences with everyone. I’m a big believer that if you put good out into the world that others will be motivated to do the same. I’m happy you reached out to see if I’d like to participate in Climate Rise, and I hope we can help make a difference. Also, I hope to show that Twitch is a welcoming place for all to come hang out and enjoy some outdoor content. CR: Thanks Wade for all your work to make Twitch that kind of place and bring climate conversations to your community and Twitch. All of us at Climate Ride are excited to team up, amplify your efforts, and do some good for great organizations! Be sure to join us in checking out Wade’s adventures and remember, thanks to the Algorand Foundation, his fundraising will be matched dollar for dollar up to $2.5 million! You can help him hit his goal of $1,000 here.