Wildlife biologist Bernie Peyton has been working with origami for more than 50 years, almost as long as he's been interested in conservation. Peyton, who has a doctorate in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, wants to enliven environmental issues for the masses, and origami, he says, appeals to people of all ages.
"I write a lot of boring [academic] articles nobody reads, but conservation also has to appeal to the emotional side," Peyton told Wired. "That's why I do art."
He chose origami because its fragility complements "the ephemeral nature of our world," he said. Plus, he uses his experience as a field biologist to inform how he molds paper into cacti, bears, kangaroo rats, snakes and polar bears, all of which he's spent considerable time with.
"I don't fold anything I don't have a personal experience with," he said.