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!


January 12, 2009

Chris Manos

At Work: Scientist II Chemist - Bausch & Lomb
At Home: Outdoorsman and Craftsman

Today’s Date: 6 January 2009

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

I grew up in the outdoors. My father was the director of a kids camp and I spent my summers outside, amidst the trees the grass, the birds, the animals. I have always felt tied to the land.

Two of the moments that I can relate as having huge impacts on my live took place in very different places. The first was when I first climbed Mt Mansfield, in Vermont, for the first time. Reaching the summit was a great experience, seeing the view, experiencing the spirit of the mountain, the spirits of the air. Other people were scattered about the mountaintop, some taking pictures, some sitting and just looking, others, curled up with their backs against a rock, reading. This is as it should be. Humankind in its natural element, nature. Outside and in touch with the land.

The second occurred this past summer in conjunction with a series of shamanism workshops. As homework we were to go out into a remote area and perform a 4 hour 'rock grinding', a type of vision quest. My friend and I went out, in the morning rain, finding spots in the wetlands, to sit. Birds swooped and perched nearby. Mosquitoes bit and ate and soon left me alone. Colors became more vivid, sound became like thunder. The voice of a chipmunk accompanied me throughout my journey, curiously approaching and looking, coming closer, looking, saying hello. Anyone who would have been watching would have seen me talking to that small creature as a friend and an equal.

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

Most definitely. The camp where I grew up was filled with hidden places, trails, both worn and secret. One of my favorites was a huge willow tree on the shores of the lake, its several trunks spreading out, forming a large protected area. I would sit there for hours, tossing rocks in the lake, playing, climbing, and just sitting.

Now? I have two favorite places as an adult. One is Mount Mansfield in Vermont. I have not been there in a long time and it is time for me to make another pilgrimage.

The second place is the wetlands at the end of Irondequoit Bay here in Rochester, where the Irondequoit Creek winds up through Ellison Park. I found the trails there 2 years ago, and this year have been exploring the waterways with my kayak. I have taken others to explore and they too have learned to treasure this area as something special.

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

LOL I have to laugh. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a zoo keeper.

I find beauty in all animals. I don't know if I have a favorite, as each one has a certain calling to me. Each one has a gift and its own wisdom to impart.

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?

The greatest environmental challenge is changing people's minds about the environment. I grew up in the 70's, being taught to "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute!", to put trash in the trash cans, that the earth was a sacred place and we were it's keepers. These days, I am disgusted by the amount of trash that people just throw out of their car. People see the world as their trash can, and they believe that the trash they throw out won't harm the environment. People believe that coal power is "CLEAN" because the guy on TV tells them it is. When I was a kid (my gods I thought I would NEVER use that phrase) we had cartoons that promoted environmentalism and social consciousness. Now they promote violence and disposability.

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

Act now. Don't wait. Get reusable grocery bags and use them instead of plastic. Recycle everything you possibly can and put when you can't recycle in a proper receptacle. Mulch. Become active. Participate in Earth Day cleanups. Ride your bike whenever you can, instead of driving. Carry trash bags with you when you hike, and pick up the garbage. Boycott companies that refuse to use clean energy.

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