GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN, N.Y., most of Daniel Hochman’s interactions with nature were in New York City parks. It wasn’t until he attended Dartmouth College, and joined the Outing Club, that he experienced the boundless beauty of New Eng- land’s forests and lakes through camping, hiking and kayaking.

“Over the course of four years, I went from definitely a city kid to someone who was much more interested in the outdoors,” Hochman says.

From there, his passion only grew. For the past seven years, Hochman has worked as a senior researcher at Bridgewater Associates, an investment management firm. Hochman says he relates his work as a researcher to how he views trees.

“, it’s about seeing everything as a part of a whole,” Hochman says. “I think that led me to reflect on the role trees play in the landscape around us.”

One day, Hochman ran across American Forests’ National Register of Champion Trees. As he learned more about the organization, he felt that donating to American Forests was a concrete way he could help protect our forests and our Earth.

“I try to think about what I feel responsible for,” he says,“and one of them is helping steward the natural environment, and this seems like a good way to begin.”

Hochman joined American Forests’ Sequoia Circle in December 2017, believing that nonprofits play a vital role in conservation by providing the opportunity to get involved and stay educated.

Hochman keeps nature in his personal life, too. He recently began taking a woodworking class taught by Mark Andreas and also goes for walks or hikes. Through reading books and articles, Hochman is constantly learning new facts about conservation and trees.

One of his favorite tree facts is that unlike most living entities, as trees grow older they grow faster. This means that older trees store more carbon, making them crucial to fighting climate change.

“It’s such a cool fact where you’re like ‘wait a second, you mean that if you just leave the tree alone, it will just get increasingly big and effective?’” Hochman says.“Yeah, just don’t chop it down. Leave the trees to do what trees do.”