When Gruber's not on sustainable adventures, he's working as a college science professor in NYC to inspire the next generation of mindful explorers. "It only takes one generation to really change mindsets," says Gruber, who credits a steady meditation routine, propensity for adaptogenic tonics, and mindful workout routine as his physical and mental fuel. "Being an explorer and a professor is a nice mix of mind and body. Going on expeditions in the ocean really keeps me wanting to stay fit and do yoga and run and exercise. It's great inspiration, especially when living in a city like New York."
His work in and out of the classroom is a reminder of the fragility of nature and our innate responsibility to protect it—despite a propensity to sometimes think otherwise. "As someone who devotes a lot of time to thinking about how humans have evolved with the planet, it’s really quite evident the effect that we’re having on our surroundings. It’s always interested me that we can look at all this and still not believe it or look the other way," he says. "It’s really a human psychology issue. We don’t want that bad news. We don’t want to react until we absolutely have to."
Gruber hopes to inspire a mindset change by emphasizing the adaptability of the nature he sees and the creature that inhabit it. "I love the analogy that many species that have a parasitic relationship with their environment get killed off. It's the animals that have a symbiotic relationship, the ones that work together, that are the most healthy and successful. In order to solve problems, we need to learn from nature. After all, we learned how to fly from birds. We need to find the most successful animals out there and see what made them successful."
Here are a few everyday actions that you can take to protect our oceans, straight from David and other inspiring experts in the field.