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!


February 14, 2007

Joe Liebezeit

Associate Conservation Biologist, Wildlife Conservation Society

Today's Date: 2/12/07

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

That is a tough question. I've worked out in the field in many different places as a field biologist over the past 15 years. I would say that seeing wolves in Yellowstone for the first time a few years ago was a pretty amazing (dare I say "religious") experience. Birding in Panama and seeing over 20 species of bird in one tree was another one. Many more, I could go on indefinitely.

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

Growing up in suburban New Jersey I had to make due with what few patches of undeveloped lands were left in the surrounding area. I remember exploring the creek that ran through our town by walking up it for a mile or two. I would also go birding in the remnant patches of woods near my home and sometimes see some neat migratory birds. Of course, going on vacation and getting up to Vermont and more rural places were great. I would explore the surrounding woods wherever we stayed.

Now? I still get to go out in the field once a year. I lead projects up on the North Slope of Alaska studying the potential impact of oil development on the nest survivorship of tundra-nesting birds. I work out of a remote camp near Teshekpuk Lake for 2 months during this time. It is an amazing place, over 50 miles from the nearest road. It is a place where we get to witness the migration of barren-ground caribou and see the occasionally grizzly bear.

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

Once again, that is a very difficult question. That is like asking "What is your favorite song?” There are so many! I am definitely partial to birds and always have been an avid birder. In particular, I am fascinated by migratory birds, like warblers, vireos, and tanagers that spend their summers in North America, but return to the New World tropics every winter.

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?

Both now and in the future: 1. Global Climate Change and 2. Natural Resource Extraction

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

Don't take it for granted.

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