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Meet Christopher Wolff of Adventure Hydrology

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christopher Wolff.

Christopher, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am an Adventure Hydrologist. And just in case you’re scratching your head wondering what that is, I am happy to explain.

I am Hydrologist (aka – water scientist) who studies the ability of water to change the environment and, in turn, our ability as people to change water. Easy enough to understand right? As an Adventurer, I like to hike, run, climb, swim, raft, canoe, backpack, mountain climb and darn near do everything else you can think of that gets me outside. So “what is Adventure Hydrology”? Combining those two elements, Adventure Hydrology is a way to understand how amazing our world is through the lens of water and adventure.

AH, Origin Story:
While working as a hydrologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, I was asked to help find and rescue endangered fish. Why was a hydrologist asked to rescue fish you may ask? First, because the 4th longest river in the United States, the Rio Grande, just went dry and the entire ecosystem was about to collapse. Second, as a water scientist, it was important I could talk to people about what was going on with the Rio and how we could make things “right”.

As I journeyed down the muddy skeleton of the Rio Grande, riding a 4-wheeler named the ‘fish ambulance’, I learned that this is sad, but an annual event. The USFWS had been saving fish on the verge of extinction, keeping them alive during ‘river diversion’ season, and then releasing them back into the Rio Grande for the last 10 years… But why hadn’t I heard about this? Why is this not news? Or at the very least, why is this not a social media post or volunteer event that would let people know what that the USFWS was doing to keep a 300+ ecosystem alive? That needed to change.

So after working for 10 years as a full-time hydrologist and part-time adventurer, I chose to combine the two things I am most passionate about into an exciting adventure science series. Endgame? I one day plan to have a TV series that uses adventure to tell the story of our world and the people…. all of us… who depend on it.

Has it been a smooth road?
Adventure Hydrology is still moving forward and each day it is growing in followers and engagement. But it’s not been an easy path. Actually, all the work it took to become a Hydrologist (Masters Degree, work experience, reading super technical papers on water management, ecosystems, etc…) was way easier than navigating the social media realm.

I feel that the biggest struggle for me personally is not comparing Adventure Hydrology to other media platforms/channels. What I am trying to do with AH (as I like to call it) is not the same as someone giving beauty tips or suggestion great places to eat. Both of which are important but often have easier to produce content and a much larger following. The fun thing I hold on to and the thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that without water… they would have no content. Haha! Just kidding!

As a Hydrologist, I know how truly critical water is to EVERYTHING and sharing that knowledge and building collaborations/partnerships with various content creators is part of the fun.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Adventure Hydrology uses the flair and adventure style of Bear Grills, combines it with the insight of the late Anthony Bourdain (but with an environmental focus) and produces exciting, fun and high-quality episodes that bring ‘you’ to places you may never visit or would have ever thought about visiting.

Plus, I am the worlds first “Adventure Hydrologist” – aka – Water Scientist who uses adventure to show you how amazing our world is. For me, that’s huge.

Adventure Hydrology, or AH as I call it for short, is really fun to produce and it’s incredibly rewarding. I’ve already met so many amazing scientists, volunteers, explorers and like-minded people who love to talk about the world and who love to be surrounded by it. Plus I’ve had the chance to explore water-carved canyons, raft whitewater rivers, cross desert dunes, stroll across glaciers and summit snowy peaks. For me, it is hard to get better than that!

In the noise that is much of social media, I feel what I feel sets me apart from others is sharing knowledge, adventure and the story and importance of the one thing that connects us all… water.

To be blunt, I was tired of just seeing beautiful pictures of landscapes, people staring off into the distance and but with no context… no story… no purpose. (Not that there is any problem with that). I wanted to know what shaped the landscape and the story of the landscape itself.

So instead, I am working to transform AH, and my impact in social media, into something that tells you the story about the world outside your window (or screen in most cases) and how you can make it a better place… or at the very least show you how much fun you can have experienced it.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think San Diego and Southern California is a great place for a business like mine. Here we have a great passion for the outdoors, social media is very strong and to be honest, we have a lot of water and natural resource problems that people are unaware of. Not a good thing mind you but an important fact.

For example, a simple question I always ask people is: “Where do you think your water comes from?”

Can you answer that? If so, excellent!! I am very happy to hear that. If you can’t answer that, no problem. I want to share that knowledge with ‘you’.

I think for a business like mine, San Diego is a great place to start. But in an industry as dynamic as mine, it can be to make the adventure/knowledge/environment “sexy”. I think you have to be different, stand out and really stick with it while ignoring some of the noise (or at least that’s how I am doing it).

For me, the story of our connectedness with water/nature can be a challenging story to tell and with the multitude and variety of media channels out there, it’s tricky to stand out. But trying new things, going on adventures and meeting great people is a spectacular way to keep the motivation. Of course, it’s something I have fun doing and that will never stop.

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