About Us

Our goal here at Natural Austerity is to help everyone learn about and engage the natural world. Here you'll find a mixture of answers to your science questions, posts teaching you about ecology and how to travel and explore the world around you for cheap. 

We're both graduate students so hopefully we can make the jargon more clear and help you understand the scientific world around you.

We've both had experiences where we were belittled because we didn't know something we 'should have' when no one taught us. We didn't like it and you probably don't either. So we're working on creating a place to come with your travel and adventure questions. Starting out exploring can be intimidating. How do you go camping? What do you need to go hiking? We want to help everyone get past the barriers that keep them from enjoying the outdoor world, regardless of how much money you have. 

You can also follow us on twitter!

Matt Boone 
I've been interested in science and birds since I was a kid, but I didn't realize I wanted to make it my career till late in college. Since that moment, I've never looked back. I've traveled the country studying birds and have finally settled in for a Masters at the University of Delaware.

Like many people who take on research, I never did it for the money. When I graduated from the University of Texas in 2009, I had little money to satiate my desire to explore the country. For four years, I worked as field technician researching birds for various universities and agencies. In between jobs I would go on large cross country road trips birding, camping, and couch surfing with friends. At that time I barely knew how to camp, where to go, or how to find birds. After four years I think I finally learned the ropes.

While birds are my first love, science is my second. I love learning about every corner of science, from biology, to geology, meteorology, and physics. I enjoy sharing this passion with those around me, and relish any opportunity to help out with someones question.

Born and raised in Austin, Tx, I have tremendous pride from my home. I'm not afraid to show my zealous spirit, and enjoy a good argument on the subject. So don't be scared off ;)

Auriel Fournier

I've always been the target of everyone's bird related questions and I hope to be able to answer many of those questions in more detail through this blog. I've been a birder since I was about 10 and I love anything to do with the outdoors.

Currently I'm a PhD student at the University of Arkansas working in the Arkansas Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit studying wetland management and the fall migration of rails. For more details on my academic work check out here or follow me on twitter.

I'm originally from NW Ohio were I got bit by the birding bug through Black Swamp Bird Observatory and got to play/work in the wetlands of Lake Erie. Then I moved on to Michigan Technological University to get my B.S. in Wildlife Ecology & Management. The Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan quickly became my second home. I want to use this blog to share my love of birds and science with everyone and help answer peoples basic questions about the natural world while inspiring them to dive in and explore themselves.