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

Mary Ellen Grant

Environmental Educator / Biologist - Private contractor (Natural Considerations Consultants)

Today’s Date: 30 November 2008

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

Raised in Rossland, BC - Dad was a prospector/logger
Most early memory of nature/animal (wild?) - playing in the REAL dirt (not the cleaned up sandbox stuff) filled with REAL rocks and watching ants

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

a BIG rock in my Aunt's yard under a maple sapling - turns out the big rock was no larger than a regular sized stove.

Now? Water - there has to be water. Anywhere where there is water, puddle, pond, wetland, lake, river.

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

As a previous zoo educator I have studied this as well - children in particular were very influenced by their teachers and parents. For example when asked about favourite animal and a child said "Snake" - they received negative reinforcement by the "yuks" but also by the teachers/parents saying "a snake is not an animal".

For myself, a cougar - why? I had the rare opportunity as a young child and had a father who had a friend who ran a roadside zoo in Robson, British Columbia. This zoo had an orphaned cougar (who "became" Charley the Lonesome Cougar of TV/movie fame). I got to help care for Charley - walk him, feed him, water him and MOST important talk with his KEEPER. It left an indelible impression on my life.

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?

"Me" generational thought process. The lack of caring for future generations. We consume and thus we waste.

Getting the "adult" generation to embrace the good youth of the world to allow them to creatively save the Earth. Volunteer Canada did a study in the early 00's that found out that if youth do not volunteer before they are 24 - they will never volunteer....
To have true sustainability, we need to work with in the area where the circles of economy, environment and SOCIETY overlap. I believe social justice and "true" education are key challenges as really determined by the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. By "true" education, I do not mean individuals with a biology background going out to "educate" about the environment. I do not mean individuals trained as teachers going out to "teach" about action. I mean the "discipline" of environmental educators who embrace community based social marketing, who use a Logic Model (or backward tasking), who are TRAINED in multiple audience techniques (eg Freeman Tilden).

Society is our biggest challenge.

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

One person can make a difference, look at Rachel Carson, here in Canada - David Suzuki, - don't give up hope focus on the positive and build your own social network.

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