Brad Balukjian is a doctor, but not one who can write you a prescription (unless you're a sick insect). He hated school when he was little, but now loves it so much that after graduating from the 23rd grade, he has moved to the other side of the desk to teach natural history and biodiversity at Merritt College in Oakland, California and at UC Berkeley. He has strong opinions about the value of education, exposure to nature, and utility infielders from the 1980s, and is pursuing a hybrid career of teaching, writing, and research to get the word out that science is accessible and (gasp!) fun. He chose this path because he never wants to stop learning and apparently has a strong aversion to money.
Brad, a Filipino-Armenian, studied journalism and island biogeography (yes, that's a thing) at Duke University and earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley.
In 2020, his first book, The Wax Pack, reached #7 on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list and was named one of NPR's Best Books of the Year. He primarily focuses on science, sports, and travel journalism.
This is his first time writing in the third-person.
The journey of tracking down all the players in a single pack of 1986 baseball cards. www.waxpackbook.com
Check out my past work for Rolling Stone, National Geographic, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. www.bradbalukjian.com/clips
I teach in Merritt College's new Natural History & Sustainability program. Check out https://www.merritt.edu/wp/nhs
I discovered 17 species of plant bugs endemic to Tahiti in my Ph.D. research and am naming them with the help of fifth-graders in Tahiti! This is called the Manumanu Project (manumanu is the Tahitian word for insect). www.bradbalukjian.com/manumanu