New Dean Sherrae Nelson feeds a camel as she explores nature. Nelson in her free time enjoys to be out in nature. "Nature is very therapeutic to me just in general. I think it will help me decompress as I begin to work here," Nelson said. Photo Credit: Sherrae Nelson
In the scorching Las Vegas heat, a nature enthusiast hikes across the Red Rock Canyon with her husband. She looks out at the breathtaking view of the Las Vegas valley. As she stares, she finds tranquility, but instead of feeling like a giant, she feels humbled and grateful that she is a small spec in the large city.
“I try to enjoy nature by spending as much time as I can in it as possible, even here at work. If I need to just step away, I will just walk the campus, be outside, and enjoy the landscaping that we have,” Nelson said.
Although technology can take over various daily activities, Nelson believes that her passion for nature does not hinder the involvement of technology during her day-to-day life.
“I think I’m pretty well-balanced. Nature is easier for me to get along with than technology because it doesn’t resist me,” Nelson said.
Nelson’s love for the environment began when she started to ride horses at the age of three. Horse riding was also a way for her and her mother to bond. In addition to riding, Nelson started to show, or compete, in horse shows at age six, and continued to do so for fourteen years before moving out for college.
“I grew up outdoors, riding my horses, going out on trail rides, riding out in the pasture. I loved showing horses. I essentially got to spend entire summers with my mom doing something that both of us love, so it was fantastic.” Nelson said.
Today, she goes hiking and tries to help protect the environment. Nelson makes sure that she recycles and that the products she uses are endorsed by companies who are environmentally conscious.
“I also just respect the environment when I’m out in it. My husband and I are very aware of the damage that could be done if we disturb [it],” Nelson said.
Regarding her preferred hiking environments, Nelson chooses to hike in the open, dry desert, than the forests filled with tall, green trees. Hiking in the desert gives her a much wider view of the landscape and the animals that inhabit it.
“I prefer the desert, 100 percent. My husband and I went hiking in Pennsylvania, and we were hiking through the woods, and it was terrifying. I knew that there were creatures in those trees, and they were going to land on me, and I didn’t like that. In the desert, I can see and can avoid the creatures,” Nelson said.
However, Nelson and her husband do not go hiking as often as she wishes. Her and her husband’s busy lifestyle prevents the possibility of going hiking frequently.
“We’re kind of sporadic hikers. Because until recently, I worked two jobs and went to school, and my husband worked full time and he goes to school, but we try to go hiking as much as possible,” Nelson said.
In spite of her hiking hobby not being full-time, she considers her enthusiasm of nature to be therapeutic.
“I wish I could incorporate nature into my daily life. Unfortunately, that does not happen. When I do have spare time, I do try and make my way outdoors, even if it’s just in the backyard with my dogs, and try to get out as much as I can,” Nelson said.