By Jasjeet Dhanota
Before beginning his work at UC Davis, Miles Daniels completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at California State University Monterey Bay, where he researched fecal pathogens in coastal wetlands and the ways in which wetlands could improve water quality for humans and wildlife. For his PhD work at UC Davis, he has studied fecal pathogens from water sources in eastern India and the ways in which improved sanitation could reduce exposure to these disease-causing organisms.
In the questions below, Daniels discusses his passion for the environment and shares some other fun facts about himself.
1. How did you decide to work with wildlife?
Since growing up along the Ventura River in Ojai, California and exploring its many playgrounds as a kid, I have felt a strong connection to my environment, including the many wildlife species that I loved to watch. It is from this strong connection and the understanding that our health is tied to the health of the environment, that I developed an interest and passion for working to protect environmental resources and wildlife for today’s and future generations.
2. What do you like most about working at the One Health Institute?
I enjoy working in the One Health Institute because of the shared goals of the staff to conduct research to improve ways we interact with our environment for the betterment of ourselves as well as the protection of wildlife. Plus, all the people are very friendly!
3. What is the most rewarding part of the work you do?
Since I began working on research projects in California with an emphasis on reducing water quality impacts to human and animal health, I have been fortunate enough to work at beautiful field sites along the coast of California while conducting applied research. It’s this aspect of working on projects that have the potential to generate lasting improvements in the way we interact with our environment that makes my work enjoyable.
4. If you had the time to learn anything, what would it be?
I have always wanted to learn how to fly a plane. With a background in earth sciences, I always enjoy having a window seat when on commercial flights and looking at geological formations from a different perspective, and I would like to be able to turn the plane whenever I would like!
5. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
I would enjoy meeting Aldo Leopold, a leader in developing ideas about environmental stewardship. After reading his books and learning about his life and perspectives on environmental ethics, I would like to hear his viewpoints on how we manage and coexist with our environment today and how situations today can compare to when he was working to protect wilderness regions of the northwest.
6. What is the #1 most played song on your iPod?
One of my favorite artists is Bob Dylan. I enjoy his unique voice and some of my favorite songs of his, such as “Seven Curses”, are also great stories.
7. What goals do you have for the future?
After completing my degree I hope to find a job where I can continue applied research into management practices that will improve human, animal, and environmental health with an ultimate goal of working with policy makers to implement proven management practices. I will be happy as long as my passion for protecting the environment can be met and I get to continue exploring outdoors!
If you would like to learn more about Miles Daniels’ work in the Monterey Bay wetlands, follow this link.