Like most of my family, I am nuts about kayaking. I'm mostly a flat-water paddler but have used downtime on field research trips to explore some really exhilarating water, including the Zambezi and (White) Nile Rivers. My favorite place to paddle in my current home of Nashville is Percy Priest Lake, a 14,000 acre reservoir with dozens of launch sites across three counties and several islands suitable for kayak-camping, Below, I'm paddling one of my boats (the "Green Mamba") in Newnans lake in Gainesville, FL.
I also really enjoy Scuba diving. I recently had the chance to do a 10 dive, live-aboard scuba trip in the Similian Islands.
My newest hobby (if you can call it that) is running. In addition to having a number of trails and public spaces for running, the running community in Nashville is great. Voted by Nashville Scene as the city's best running club, "East Nasty" hosts a 6 AM & PM group run every Wednesday year-round in one of the city's most exciting (and hilly!) neighborhoods.
I ran my first marathon in November 2013 and my second in Paris, France in April 2014. I pulled out of the 2014 Chicago Marathon (14 miles in) due to a lingering ankle injury. After eight months on the shelf recovering, I'm started training for April 2016's Vienna City Marathon [derailed; IT Band tendonitis] and planned to run Southern California's "Mountains 2 Beach" marathon with my younger sister at the end of May [Extensor tendonitis]. Future running plans TBD.
Tennessee is an incredible state for biking, including the start of the Natchez Trace (which connects to AL & MS), Memphis's Big River Crossing (The longest ped/bike bridge across the Mississippi River), and the annual Bike Ride Across Tennessee. I'm not a very serious bike rider myself, but I do take very seriously making Nashville and other Tennessee cities bike and walk friendly (so do the majority to Tennesseans). I am the chairman of Bike Walk Tennessee in Action, a non-profit that advocates for cycling infrastructure, awareness and safety.
I cook in my down time and like trying new dishes from Cooks Illustrated, a cooking magazine with a decidedly "academic" approach towards recipes. Here are a few recipes I've been elated with recently. Cooks Illustrated recipes are linked to reprints since Cooks is gated.
Tavern's Kale and Parmesan Salad
"Our Favorite Chili"
Single Dad Ninja (aka Benjamin Smith)'s Quinoa Risotto
Poule au Pot
Peruvian Roasted Chicken with Garlic and Lime
Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Also, this is a great cooking blog with "fancy" versions many Tanzanian and East African dishes (page is in Swahili).
I am a huge supporter of my hometown NBA Memphis Grizzlies and I play basketball as much as possible. When in Zanzibar for field visits, I play for the Wazee (in Swahili, "old people/elders") team.