Learning has always been associated with a picture of a four-walled classroom with a chalkboard and neatly lined desks, ready to welcome students with eager minds. But evolutionary biologist and science communicator Dillon Jones says otherwise. As the founder of Learn Adventurously LLC, the visionary introduced a non-conventional and active approach to learning where students get to use all five senses to learn about their surroundings and treat nature as their primary classroom, teaching the joy and rewards of a research career.
Learn Adventurously holds ideal programs for individuals who want to share their insights with the rest of the world through a self-paced learning method while simultaneously appreciating nature in the process, most especially for people who want to gain a better understanding of the natural world.
“Learn Adventurously’s main goal is education through involvement. By encouraging people to act in the real world, I firmly believe that they will be able to learn much more effectively than by sitting in a classroom,” the founder explained. “One example of this is our free international BioBlitzes. Every spring, we encourage people to go outside with their phones and take photos of the plants and animals around them. By using a custom point system, we gamify the experiences for participants. Throughout the competition, we have specialized challenges, bonus points for specific organisms and rewards are given to the top participants,” he added.
The company’s system of learning paved the way for its global community to make over 10,000 observations of over 2,800 species in two weeks last spring. Also among its many achievements is the facilitation of conservation-focused trips to Belize and starting of a flagship virtual course called Fundamentals of R for Biologists. Learn Adventurously also published down-to-earth explanations of short research projects through its blog, “Is the United States Protecting its Amphibian Biodiversity?”
Backed by his unique educational style merged with his passion for storytelling, Dillon is able to foster worthwhile learning experiences for his followers and break down the barriers between the general public and the research community. He proves that with a little bit of curiosity, anyone can be a scientist.
“The divide between the scientific community and the public is growing wider. For the last six years, my brand was specifically designed to close that gap through the massive reach of social media and the power of storytelling,” Dillon shared. “I first started my educational journey out of love for storytelling. Specifically, the stories of evolution. Stories millions of years in the making. Stories that weave even the simplest organism into the fabric of our earth’s history. I started this journey to make an impact in the world through these stories.”
Learn Adventurously is continuing the weaving process of the earth’s stories through its growing community of self-made scientists who follow their curiosity to foster learning every day. Dillon built Learn Adventurously to change how such stories are found, understood, and shared with the community, raising a generation of curious minds who fearlessly brave the world to understand its diverse ecosystems through their own eyes, all while playing an active role in supporting conservation efforts globally and embracing a nature-first strategy. Without a doubt, Learn Adventurously will leave a lasting mark on the world.