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!


August 21, 2006

Ayako Ezaki

Asia Pacific Coordinator, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

Today's Date: August 21, 2006

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

I grew up in the suburb of Tokyo, Japan, but every summer went to visit my grandparents in my father's hometown in a small village in Wakayama (Western Japan). Mountains, rivers, beaches, rice paddies, farms... best memories.

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

Again, my grandparents' place - swimming in rivers and lakes, climbing trees, etc.

Now? Now I live in Washington DC - I moved here last year and haven't explored the area much yet but would like to. I've been to the Great Falls and Rock Creek Parks and they are nice getaways not so far from the city.

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

Living in the DC area (the national zoo has a one-yr-old panda baby), I can't get over how cute pandas are. But I've always liked elephants. For their size and grace. Their eyes are so beautiful. Once I saw this documentary about an elephant family in South Asia, and the scene of the mother elephant giving birth to a (big!) baby is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

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?

Environmentally unfriendly options (consumer goods, food, travel choices, etc. etc.) are so readily available everywhere and often more cheaply than more responsible options. We need a better system where the money is put in the right place so people are motivated to make the right choice and businesses can truly understand why it's important (and makes sense!) to be environmentally responsible.

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

I love the Native American proverb "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children" (which is quoted in your website as well!). I want my children to grow up with this in mind, and teach the same to their children.

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