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Birds And Snakes And Insects, Oh My
Durham, NC -
Name: Jeff Pippen
Position: Instructor and associate in research, Division of Environmental Sciences and Policy
Years at Duke: I've been at Duke for over 10 years now.
What I do at Duke: I teach various forestry, natural history and environmental science classes for undergraduate and graduate students. Additionally, I do climate change research studying the effects of climate change on forest growth.
If I had $5 million, I would: Pay off all my bills and then take my family on wildlife safaris all over the world. I've been to Asia and South and Central America, so I'd love to go to Africa and Australia because they have the most incredible biodiversity of things I haven't yet seen.
My first ever job: I worked as a prep chef at a Bonanza restaurant in Michigan. I was 16, and it was a summer job during high school. As prep chef I cooked Texas toast, baked potatoes and prepped each plate for the grill cook, who was cooking the meat.
My dream job: I pretty much have it. I love getting outside and looking for birds, snakes, insects and plants and sharing that appreciation of natural history with others.
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: Most conversations that are started with me are something along the lines of `so I saw this bird.' People always ask me about various species of birds they see around campus or at home like a red-tailed hawk they see driving home or a Carolina wren that nests in their garage.
What I love about Duke: All of the patches of natural forest on campus. I love having nature and forested areas within walking distance where I can take students for teaching and class exercises.
When I'm not at work, I like to: Go birding or hiking. I love going to the coast and up to the mountains. I also enjoy going to the movies and watching sports.
If I could have one superpower, it would be: I'd like to fly. That way I could get to see rare birds when they're reported. I could get to them faster to locate them.
A Movie I like: I've always enjoyed super-spy movies, so I really like True Lies, the Jason Bourne series and James Bond Movies. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, too.
A Book I like is: The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. It's on its sixth edition now.
The music I'm most likely listening to: My favorite all-time bands are probably The Clash and The Who.
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