I’m Danielle Meitiv, writer and oceanographer, gardener and educator, environmentalist, mother, aspiring author, and recovering vegetarian. Yes, I’m a passionate generalist who loves to explore all of those identities on this blog and in the pages of my stories and journal.
Why a “Barefoot Blog”? I love being barefoot – at home, in the garden and on the beach. Going barefoot is more than an approach to dressing (or rather, not-dressing). It’s an approach to life that is fun and casual, high-energy and low-stress, footloose and fancy-free
In addition to blogging, I write fiction and non-fiction. I am currently working on a sci-fi novel featuring humans adapted to the sea and a non-fiction book about gardening. (Did I mention that I’m a generalist?) The fabulously talented and charming Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Agency is my
prod, er, muse, and dear friend.
I am available for freelance science writing and blogging. Please contact: daniellemeitiv at gmail dot com.
But what do you do?
Ah the perennial question, favorite of the Type-A DC crowd (where I live and work). To earn my daily bread – and make the world a better place – I work as a science consultant focusing on climate change.
I enjoy public speaking and teaching about the environment and have done both in settings as diverse as classrooms, coral reefs, salt marshes, forests, in print, on the air, online, and in the urban jungles of New York City.
Thanks for stopping by!
The longer version of my bio is below, complete with CV-like details, random facts and the story of my last name.
Academia and real life
My academic background includes the Bronx High School of Science (Class of 1987), a B.S. in biology from the University at Buffalo, and a M.S. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.
My meandering career path has taken me through adventures with the New York City Parks Department, two stints with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and several environmental groups: the Environmental Defense Fund, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), the Public Research Interest Group (PIRG), and the Clean Air Task Force. A few years ago, I co-taught a course at Brandeis University titled “Sources and Resources: Jewish Values, Humanity and the Environment.”
Silver Spring, MD is the place I call home, along with my husband Alexander (“Sasha”) and our two children, Rafi (6.5) and Dvora (2.5). I’m passionate about food gardening, and convert more flower beds and patches of lawn to veggies every year.
Seven Eight random things about me:
- My family loves nicknames. Since childhood, my father had called me “schmuzik.” (It’s Yiddish and as appropriate today as it was back then).
- I like rhyming nicknames and have at least a half-dozen for my kids including “Rafi Toffee” for my son and “Dvora-delish” for my daughter. My husband is often “Sasha Pasha.” (Yes, it’s gone to his head).
- I was a certified aerobics instructor and taught kickboxing for U.S. Senate staffers until the tendons in my ankle said “stop!”
- Every car I’ve owned has had a manual transmission. My Dad taught me the basics of driving a stick during a test drive for my first car.
- I spent two and a half years living in a gorgeous farmhouse on a island in the middle of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Everyday I gave thanks for being in such a wonderful place. (Did you know there is a specific prayer that Jews say upon seeing the ocean? I recited it often).
- From the ages of 14 to 16 I went to a riding camp in Bennington, New Hampshire. At 38, I took up riding again and hope to own a horse someday.
- I was a HUGE Star Wars fan as a kid, and saw the first film no less than 16 times – in the theater. This was in the days before VCRs and cable.
- My high school was just a few miles from Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo. More than a few senior days were spent at there rather than in the classroom.
(I shared seven other random things in this blog post).
My last name: Meitiv
My husband and I adopted it a few years after we got married. (OK, we finally got around to legally changing it the week before my son was born – we wanted him to get the brand-new one).
Neither one of us was big on the idea of me taking his name, and we sure as hell weren’t going to burden our offspring with Lobkovsky-Luttenberg. Ouch! So we decided to come up with a new name altogether.
Both of our mother’s fathers came from the same shtetl (small town) in the Ukraine: Letichev. That was too long, and hard to spell so, we shorted it to Letiv. By shifting from L to M, we got the Hebrew word “Meitiv”, which is used in the Jewish liturgy, and means “he does good.” Voila! A new name was born.
Danielle Meitiv’s Barefoot Blog and Brave Blue Words by Danielle Meitiv are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.