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!


May 03, 2008

D. Jody Owens

PhD candidate, USF Applied Anthropology (and teacher, Hillsborough County, Florida)

Today’s Date: 7 April 2008

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

First, growing up in a small town and playing outdoors every day. As an adult, spending 3 days in Ely, Minnesota for a black bear field study, where we observed, followed and to some extent interacted with black bears in the wild. The organization is Wildlife Research Institute. Although I am a big nature fan anyway, this was a huge life changing experience.

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

Yes, the woods near my home.

Now? Wooded areas with few signs of humans (wetlands, uplands, hills, mountains are all special to me)

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

Bears in general, and black bears in particular. They are solitary in nature, extremely intelligent, generally good natured, have a highly developed sense of play, are loving and extremely caring mothers, and have amazing communication skills (and yes, I realize that humans do not typically agree that "loving" can be attributed to animals - obviously I disagree).

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?

Overpopulation combined with overconsumption. Future - Same, resulting in continued deterioration of water and air and loss of biodiversity.

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

Continue to maintain and protect sufficient habitat for other forms of life, including the food, water and shelter that these life forms need. If we can do this, we will also be focused on preserving natural resources for humans.

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