Tomek Falkowski

Syracuse, New York, United States

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  • Last login 2 months ago

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  • Fluent in English, Polish; learning Spanish
  • 26, Male
  • Member since 2012
  • Graduate Student
  • Ecological Engineering PhD Student
  • From Buffalo, NY
  • Profile 85% complete

About Me


My current mission is to obtain my PhD in Ecological Engineering on my own terms. That means studying what interests me and doing what I am passionate about. Life is an adventure. Let's go exploring!


In short, I like to consider myself an explorer. Growing up, I read classic tales of adventure to escape the concrete and rust of the city: Amundsen, von Humboldt, Bingham, Fawcett, Livingstone… Most of these authors, I have come to learn, were madmen and racists in pith helmets, but at the time, they represented a romantic vision of total freedom and the grandeur of experiencing all the hardships and majesty of the natural world. I suppose that it was my desire to escape the confines of the industrial graveyard in which I was raised which has really led me to where I am today. I realized that there is little call for professional explorers to uncover the veil of the blank places on maps in this day in age. There is little terra incognita left in our world. But while I could not advance society’s knowledge of geography, I could push the scientific frontier. “Ecological research” seemed a reasonable justification to fly the coop.

I am currently a graduate student studying the application of Lacandon Maya agroforestry management to tropical forest restoration in Mexico.

My work does really take up most of my time and energy right now, but when I am not doing laboratory and statistical analyses and writing, my passion for the natural world extends to my love of rock climbing, hiking, traveling and camping. Doing these things also allows me to see some spectacular sights: sunrise over the Sierra, a fresh jaguar print on the trail, an army ant swarm, chunks of ice breaking off a glacier and tumbling down the mountain slope...

Given this, I try to impassioned other people by taking photographs of these sights. I am hardly an expert, but I enjoy refining this art form.

Well, that's all that I have to say about myself. I don't really need any more of an ego boost...


As summed up by those brilliant philosophers: Calvin and Hobbes: It's a magical world. Let's go exploring!

Why I’m on Couchsurfing


Right now, I am studying in Syracuse, NY. Honestly, I don't see many couchsurfers coming through and I currently have roommates who aren't entirely comfortable inviting them into our apartment. So, for the time being, I am limited to surfing rather than hosting.


I have not used Couchsurfing extensively thus far. Several friends suggested that I sign up, but I've only gotten around to setting up a profile recently. I'm hoping to meet some more people so they might help me explore their neighborhoods, either by hosting me, or showing me their favorite places.


Activities: Rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, traveling, camping, reading, landscape photography, and playing trumpet (jazz)

Music, Movies, and Books

Books: I am a big fan of nature and travel writing, but am trying to get something of a taste of classic literature (though much has been spoiled by high school English class). Some of my favorite authors are Tolkien, Matthiessen, and Muir.

Movies: I am a movie junkie with a particular love for the classics. My current 5 "trapped on a desert island movies" would be Casablanca, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Big Lebowski, Duck Soup, and North by Northwest.

Music: I listen to pretty much anything less opera, country, and rap, and there are even exceptions in those genres. Some of my favorites are Beethoven and Chopin; Hendrix, Dylan, and Pink Floyd; Pete Seeger, and Woodie Guthrie; and Louis Armstrong, Lee Morgan, and Miles Davis.

One Amazing Thing I’ve Done

Walking in a biological reserve in the rainforests of southern Mexico and noticing fresh jaguar tracks in the mud on the trail. I never saw the jaguar itself, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was being watched as I walked out of the forest...

Countries I’ve Visited

Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Poland, United States

Countries I’ve Lived In

United States

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