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 20, 2006

Lauren E. Garske

Ph.D. student (Ecology)/University of California, Davis & Bodega Marine Lab

Today's Date: Thursday, 20 July 2006

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

Probably being introduced to tidepools when I was only 5 years old. My fascination with nature took hold there and continued to develop over the years as I became more aware of how each pool was a unique microcosm filled with dependencies, conflicts, and interactions. It made me realize how integrated everything is and so ecology has been a natural choice for my profession.

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

the tidepools at Natural Bridges State Park, Santa Cruz, California, USA

Now? There are so many... I am especially fond of the Baja Californian desert, kelp forests along the Pacific coast, hikes among the coastal redwoods...

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

Not sure that I could choose just one but for the moment, I'll venture to say the octopus because they are wonderfully interactive and curious animals, definitely show intelligence, and live a life nothing like ours!

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?

Awareness - there is as much denial about the state of our environment as there is naive ignorance. Until we collectively acknowledge issues such as human impacts on pristine environments and global warming, we won't be able to act effectively to address them. I think that recognition of our own role in the ecosystem, in terms of both our imposition of forces on nature and the loss following its degradation are essential.

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

Consider how your choices and actions today will be reflected in the environment tomorrow - then scale it by enough orders of magnitude to represent the global population. Whether its non-sustainable use and exploitation of resources, input of chemicals with unknown effects, or abuse/ignorance of our surroundings, there is an impact that will carry forward; be observant. The laws of physics show that energy is neither created nor destroyed - allocate your energy thoughtfully. Change and inspiration begin with individuals.

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