Welcome to Stillwater Ripple!

Norm Leonard and son Wolfie on a paddleboard near Jekyll Island, GA

Hi! My name is Norm Leonard, and Stillwater Ripple is the place where I share my interests and news about the things I do.

Thank you for taking a moment to look around.

I hope you find something interesting on these pages. Part of this space is simply for me to pontificate, part of it is for aggregating the links to my various projects. Everything here is a work in progress, the sandbox of a man who’s growing and learning every day. Opinions expressed herein are my own, and facts (or what I believe to be facts) are linked to the sources where I found them.

Norm Leonard, Polymath

I honestly don’t know if it’s OK to call myself a polymath. Hopefully it’s not an arrogant thing to say. For me, it’s a word I use to describe how I view the world. I don’t want to be “Norm The Narrow” or “Small-Minded Norm.” Instead, I aspire to be a thinker – and doer! – who works at the intersections of interesting ideas to make more interesting ideas. So the label “Norm Leonard, Polymath” is a goal, not a bragging point; it’s a road sign pointing me in the direction that I’d like my life to take.

Norm Leonard, Servant

What good is a polymath, really, unless he (or she, but I’m writing about myself here) uses what they learn to help other people live better lives? And I don’t mean that anyone should decide what’s better – or best – for anyone else, but rather that anyone who knows a way to contribute to another person’s quality of life really ought to share it. That’s my point of view, anyway.

For me, service manifests in varied forms as my life progresses through its seasons. It might be participating in a roadside litter cleanup one day, helping out with little league another day, and on and on.

Norm Leonard wife Skye and dogs Xander and Sophie on Blood Mountain in Georgia
My wife, Skye, with my dogs, Xander and Sophie at the top of Blood Mountain, GA ( May ’19)

For now, I’m highlighting five of the things I do: Conservation education and advocacy through my company Southeast Ecology, teaching and tutoring I do through my company Help With Science, my photography, and hiking/backpacking, and my growing interest in emotional wellness.

Conservation Stuff

One of the most important things I do – and possibly my favorite – is promoting conservation literacy through Southeast Ecology. This endeavor is about my passion for taking care of this beautiful, amazing planet we inhabit. It’s about helping people get along with and be a part of the natural world. Reintegrating humanity with its habitat. Caring. Loving – Love of nature, love of the outdoors, love of themselves, and love of others.

You can learn more about Southeast Ecology and the things I do with it elsewhere on this site.

I’m an Educator

My education (Ph.D. in Conservation Biology from UNO, 2008) took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r, and the natural progression from doctoral student and postdoc was an academic position. So, education became one of the things I do.

Norm Leonard runs Help With Science - this is the logo
Help With Science logo

Norm Leonard the educator is, quite honestly, present in everything I do these days. I enjoy teaching, and I love the “Aha!” moments I witness when I help people. Sometimes education is something I do as part of other endeavors, such as when I’m relocating nuisance wildlife, and other times it’s my primary role. That happens when I’m talking to a group or working with a client through Help With Science.

Norm Leonard, photographer

Sometimes I Take Pictures. My photography business, Metamorphosis Photography is…. well, it’s a hobby, really, and I learned to treat it like a business for financial expediency. I occasionally sell photos, and I have aspirations to publish a few of them some day. However, I really just enjoy playing with cameras and composition. Like many artists, the art is for me. I hope you like the images, but it’s quite alright with me if you don’t. Heck, I don’t even like all of them. But I do like this one:

Norm Leonard took this photo of sunset over the southern Appalachians in Dawson County, GA
Sunset over Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains somewhere on the Benton MacKaye Trail in Dawson County, GA

Mental Health and Emotional Wellness

Remember the bit above where I said something about enjoying work at the intersection of ideas? The intersection of Mental Health/Emotional Wellness, ideas like Nature Deficit Disorder and Blue Mind, the physical fitness industry, and nutrition science is one of those places where convergent ideas are pointing to the need for an integrated approach. Stay tuned for more on this. I know a lot of people are already working at the confluence of these ideas, but my ideas and contribution are still developing.

Other Places You Can Find Me

I love social media because it lets me keep up with old friends and interact with people far away in a way you just can’t with older technologies. So, I have several profiles around the interwebs, oth personal and professional. Find me on Facebook at @nleonard73 and @southeastecology. I have personal accounts on Instagram and Twitter; if you’re searching for Southeast Ecology on these two platforms, you can visit here: Southeast’s Instagram profile an Twitter profile.

My Amazon.com profile has links to my book reviews.

I have a profile on LinkedIn that I update sporadically. It has the usual professional stuff that you’d expect from a LinkedIn profile.

I don’t use SnapChat, TikTok, Pinterest, or WhatsApp. So profiles on those platforms with my name are fake. Also, none of my social media accounts use any variation of Stillwater Ripple, either.