1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?
This is a tough question to answer as there have been many... we have always had cats and dogs in our various homes and been day-hikers and campers. But the first that comes to mind -- well, two that come to mind immediately are these:
1) During an 8-month backpacking-hitchhiking trip through
2) At about 14 a friend and I found a raccoon in the woods near our home. It was clearly dying and probably suffering. We couldn't just walk away but had no idea how to help -- and doubted that the animal could be rehabilitated. Eventually, we enlisted some help and sadly but quickly killed the raccoon. Did we put it out of misery? Were we being good stewards? The woods have always been a favorite place of mine and I often think of that raccoon when I am out in the trees...
2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?
While I loved camping and hiking, perhaps my favorite place as a kid was beneath a great old oak tree. I would sit there reading for hours as the sun twirled through the leaves...
Now? There is a hike near my
3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is and why?
No real such "thing" as a favorite for me. I am drawn to the primates but have a hard time seeing them at the zoo and overhearing the stupid taunts of my fellow zoogoers. Perhaps because I spend most of my animal time w/ our three rescue mutts, I might say the canine tops my list...
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?
Perhaps the loss of animal habitat and the ever-growing human population would be the biggest challenge. Oh, and global warming.
5. If you could give one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?
Jeez... One piece of advice? Hmm. Leave the world better than you found it. A somewhat trite answer -- and one that is incredibly subject to interpretation -- but one that I try to teach my two children (even when we walk through our neighborhood, I make them pick up at least a piece of trash that their footprint in a small way is a thoughtful one).