About Matt

A photo of me, taken by my wife.

Welcome to Mineral2.com, the internet home of Matthew Singer. I am a photographer, a naturalist, and a doctoral student at the University of Idaho. This website is my personal and professional place on the web. From here you will be able to browse my photography portfolio, order prints and books, and keep up with my latest adventures and experiences. So have a look around and enjoy my world.

Born in San Antonio, Texas in 1982, I spent most of my life growing up in the small town of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. With family spread across the continent, travel quickly became a major part of my life. I’ve been told that my first experience in an airplane was at 2 months of age, but I can’t recall anything that far back. All I know is that growing up, I got to visit a lot of places and it’s only recently and coincidentally that I started returning to these places as an adult.

Many of our vacations involved trips to national parks and other natural attractions, so I suppose I got my experience in the outdoors from the get go as well. I started collecting rocks and fossils as far back as first grade when I first found Brachypods in the rocks in my neighborhood. It wasn’t until high school that I really took a serious appreciation for the natural world. I began hiking, identifying flowers, insects, and trees, and photographing the nature and landscapes that I grew up around. When I graduated, I left for Drew University in the great state of New Jersey and in 2004, left with a B.A. in Biology. Since then I traveled around the country working as an environmental educator giving back my love and knowledge of the outdoors to young school children and hopefully planting the seed for outdoor exploration in a new generation.

In 2010, I left the world of outdoor education and joined the doctoral program in biology at the University of Idaho. I’ll be studying ecology, evolution, and animal behavior with some of the finest experts in the field and someday, I’ll have the opportunity to enrich the lives of college students who wish to expand their knowledge of the Earth’s natural systems.

Whether working or on my own time, I enjoy the great outdoors. I’ll almost always be out on a trail climbing a mountain or looking for birds, or just exploring a habitat. I’ll even go out for multi-day expeditions to get away from civilization. I love to travel and visit different cultures and natural habitats. I spent a semester in Australia and have also been to London, Scotland, Ireland, and Belize as well as many places around the United States and Canada.

What is “mineral2?”

Mineral2 has been my web presence since my first AOL screen name. There are so many Matt Singer’s out in the world, that finding user names associated with my actual name is nearly impossible. So, I’ve kept the mineral2 identity ever since. The name comes from my rock and mineral collecting hobby. I used to be more into it, and since creating my name, I’ve added many other pursuits to my list of interest that many people don’t realize I still maintain my rock collection.

Annual Wallowas Weekend 2014

Group shot at the summit

The annual Wallowas Weekend tradition kinda took a hiatus for a couple of years. In 2012, Tyler had to pull out of the trip, and several other people followed. That left me with one other person who still wanted to hike, but also wanted to fish. So we turned it into a Seven Devils trip. Last year, I was still recovering from my ski accident and was in no shape to go backpacking. But this year, I was determined to get back in the game, and I didn’t disappoint. I chose a 24-mile loop to accomplish over three days. We’d … Continue reading

Oregon Butte

There's an active fire lookout on Oregon Butte.

In a world where there are so many playgrounds at arm’s reach, the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington are so often overlooked. They’re not as tall as the surrounding mountain ranges – the highest point is just shy of 6400 feet. There are no natural lakes, and the valleys are actually canyons carved into an uplifted basalt lava flow. But while they may not have the grandeur of the nearby glaciated Wallowas, the Blue Mountains are quite beautiful and offer some great hiking experiences. A large portion of the Blue Mountains is protected under the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness Area, and a network … Continue reading