Dr. Joel Cohen’s career began as a Peace Corps agricultural Volunteer in Nepal’s upland rice farming communities. Upon returning to the U.S., he completed his doctoral degree on the genetic diversity and conservation of crop plants. These interests led to several positions in international research and conservation of genetic resources. Having then returned to Maryland, he became a secondary science teacher and started weekly trips to the C & O Canal, recently renewing his connections with many of its supporting organizations. Currently he is Visiting Scholar at the Nicholas School of the Environment, of Duke University, undertaking a study on the biodiversity of the Canal and its suitability as a wildlife corridor. This work is contributing to a book for young adults on the canal’s natural and Americana history.