Meet Derik Broekhoff, Vice President of Policy

October 16, 2012

1. What drives your environmental work and activism?

40 percent force of habit, 10 percent sublimated idealism, 30 percent worrying about the world my daughter will inherit, 20 percent a deeply conservative streak concerning preservation of the natural world.

2. What was one of your most exciting and rewarding achievements?

Arriving in Yosemite shortly after midnight, pitching a tent in Camp 4, immediately hiking halfway up to Yosemite Falls to see it in the moonlight, getting up early the next morning to hike up Half Dome, scaling to the top even though the cables were down, stumbling into Camp 4 for dinner.

3. Who is your hero (or someone you admire greatly)?

Bond. James Bond.

4. What are your favorite and frequently visited websites?

The – To keep tabs on the chattering class.

Ars Technica – To learn about what hackers are up to, gadgets, and the occasional deep dive on climate science, astronomy, and subatomic physics. – An antidote to the peanut gallery that attaches itself in comments to every article written on climate change. – Just kidding!

5. What was your most recent “That oughta be a law!” thought?


6. What is a tip you’d like to share for leading a more sustainable life?

Don’t cut switchbacks.

7. Please share a personal story that ties in with one of the Reserve’s protocol sectors (ie story about your experiences composting, enjoying a forest, recycling your refrigerator)

I used a worm bin to compost food scraps for a while. Then my housemate’s Siberian husky tore the plastic liner off in the middle of winter and the worms froze to death. One of the Reserve’s composting projects is near an airport and for safety reasons they have a dog to chase birds away. Dogs will be dogs; sometimes that’s bad, sometimes it’s good… I’m sorry, what was the question?

8. If you could spend one week in a natural area in the U.S., where would it be?

Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon. Reasonably remote, great hiking, you can bag an easy peak, lava beds!

9. What is an environmental book that you think should be required reading in schools?

The World Without Us. Very imaginatively conveys the full breadth of human impact on the natural world – and is strangely uplifting.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Tuna Helper® without the tuna, after a hike up Half Dome.

11. What is something about you that your professional peers would be surprised to learn?

Like Paul Ryan, I can say I ran a marathon in 3.5 hours or less. Unlike Paul Ryan, I actually did.



  • C.P. says:

    great interview! i hope the misadventures with composting didn’t deter future composting activities. i look forward to checking out the recommended book and websites.

  • Greg G. says:

    Ha! Regarding Q11 – Like Paul Ryan, I hope that you will one day be a VP nominee. We need smart climate leaders in office! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.