It had been a typical day in the arid grasslands of Kachchh. As a field ecologist, I had spent the afternoon counting plants and collecting leaves in our 40-square-mile study site in the Indian state of Gujarat. I crouched to record my last entry for the day—and realized I wasn’t alone. A pair of wolves had been watching my every move.
The wolves sprang toward me as I took off running. They chased me for a quarter of a mile before I finally made it to the safety of my pickup truck. It was an alarming reminder that the drylands I studied are not the barren, lifeless wastelands that most people assume them to be.
Deserts are teeming with life, though it is often camouflaged. Now, as a science writer, I am determined to get people curious about the natural world—even in seemingly desolate environments.