by August Linton
Brooke Schryver, a beloved environmental educator, photographer, and Cal Poly Humboldt student, died on Sunday, May 29, 2022 while hiking the Lost Coast trail. She was 25 years old.
Schryver was a bright spot in the lives of the people who knew her. She loved guiding people to share in her love of nature, and planned to work in environmental education and interpretation once she finished her degrees in Anthropology and Environmental Science & Management at CPH.
“She was enthused about the natural world to where her excitement was contagious,” said fellow backcountry wilderness ranger Johnathon Macias.
Schryver’s long-time best friend and boyfriend Andew Weisner remembers how all-encompassing her love for nature was.
“Except for invasive plant species,” he said. “She didn’t like those very much.”
Macias said that Schryver’s excitement about the world and her job as a nature educator helped him get out of his shell. One of Schryver’s greatest and most well-known talents was sharing her joy with other people.
Yosemite National Park is where she hoped to work, interpreting and protecting the natural world and reveling in its beauty.
Schryver channeled her connection with the natural world into art through her photography. She loved taking pictures since she was small, shooting with a family member’s old camera. Weisner remembers that she “always had a camera in her hands.” She was known to constantly borrow anyone’s phone with a better camera than hers to take pictures. Her photos can be found on her Instagram, @b_photohappy.
Poetry was another passion for Schryver, it helped her to process her emotions. She wrote small accompanying poems for some of her published photography.
Schryver’s personality was strong and infectiously joyous. Many who knew her mention her long-held magpie-like habit of collecting shiny objects, and admire her willingness to voice her many strong opinions.
“She did everything she did without judgment,” said Weisner.
Schryver was an involved and vibrant member of every community she chose to be a part of. During her time at West Valley Community College, she founded their Park Management Club. She also was heavily involved in volunteer work at Humboldt and elsewhere: she went to Y.E.S. events, worked at creek cleanups, and regularly gave her time to friends in need.
CPH Student Emily Chao commented on Schryver’s online obituary: “Brooke was my eyes. She gave me my independence.”
Heidi McFarland, one of Schryver’s professors at West Valley College, also commented: “After our family lost our home to the CZU fire…[she] helped us work on our property to clear trees, and sift through the rubble – of course looking for shiny things.”
Many remember her willingness to help, always with gentleness and a smile. She was an environmental steward, an outdoor leader, and a mentor.
Schryver’s legacy is one of powerful, pure love for nature education, and for nature itself. She wanted to make our world a better place, and dedicated both her heart and her time to that cause.