Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


July 28, 2006

Jessica Sprajcar

Program Analyst/ Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Today's Date: 7/27/06

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

There were many experiences that have impacted me, but the one that has the most lasting impression was volunteering for four summers as a Zoo Teen at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Getting to work directly with small animals, educating the young visitors, and getting behind-the-scenes tours of the various animal exhibits really gave me an appreciation for environmental education and the diversity of species on the planet.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

My backyard was surrounded by woods and my sister and I would play out there all the time... pretending we were archaeologists and explorers. My grandmother's farm was also a very special place. I fondly remember playing with the goats and running through the fallow fields.

Now? With so many state parks to choose from, I don't have a favorite. Anywhere I can go camping and biking is a place I will like.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

That is a very tough question. It would be easiest to do a top ten list for me. If I did have to try and choose though I would have to say the rhino. There were 2 at the Pittsburgh Zoo that were so great. I guess one reason I like them so much is because they are threatened in the wild and this makes me want to protect them somehow.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

The biggest challenge now is stopping urban sprawl and all other minor human disturbance events that go along with it, like invasive species and pollution. We have to learn that big isn't necessarily better when it comes to homes and businesses. Spreading out until we cover all available land is not a smart idea. In the future our biggest challenge will be to ensure that developing countries are given the new technologies to reduce pollution as they become more industrialized.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

We can choose to go along the same path we have been following for years, but eventually it will come to a dead end (i.e. when all our resources are depleted). Or we can choose to try a new path where we reduce our consumptive habits and realize the resources are there for the benefit of all species, not just humans.

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