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!


March 30, 2008

Lauren Smith

Graduate Student - Southeastern Louisiana University

Today’s Date: 18 March 2008

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

There have been so many! The first time I saw a loggerhead sea turtle crawl out of the ocean under a full moon. Hiking to the top of a mountain to take in a spectacular view. Having an octopus wrap its arm around me and “smell” me with its sucker disks. Learning the personalities of the fish we had for research. Playing with a seal through an aquarium window.

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

My friends and I had a “house” set up in the woods and we would use leaves as plates and pretend like we lived there. It was so much better than TV.

Now? I recently spent a year in Alaska exploring the beauty of the fjords. The hiking was amazing and the wildlife was spectacular. I intend to move back there as soon as I am done with my master’s degree.

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

I, too, am a former animal keeper and a current researcher and every animal I have worked with has stolen my heart. They include sea turtles, dolphins, seals, sea lions, ocean surgeonfish, cotton-top tamarins (I worked in the Wildlife Tracking Center at DAK* by the way). Additionally, I have a fascination with giraffes…and moose. I love moose.

* [Jeremy’s note- Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where I worked on the Aviary Team from 1999-2002]

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?

My current research has implications in toxicology. The continued accumulation of pollutants in the environment will leave us with an unusable planet. Imagine being surrounded by water but not being able to drink it. Or being surrounded by air and not being able to breathe it.

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

You may not be able to change the world, but you can change the way you do things. If everyone had that same attitude we could accomplish a lot. Don’t be overwhelmed by thinking you can’t do enough, because you can at least do something.

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