How people perceive and interact with nature is important to broader wildlife conservation. We need to be mindful and proactive in creating new ways for people to identify with nature. Activity (recreation/museums), imagery (marketing/media), and personal perception (culture/ self-identification) are powerful forces in conservation. If we can get most people to realize science is cool and that nature is mysterious and powerful, we have a much better foundation to work with.
I work for the National Parks Conservation Association as the senior manager for conservation science and policy. Its an incredible honor to have been recently welcomed into NPCA, and I am looking forward to the most interesting and challenging conservation work of my career.
Initially, my interests toward international wildlife conservation, science, and art had led me to theSmithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Of all that DC has to offer, particularly appealing is the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, where I have had the privilege to work with good-hearted and visionary people for many years. The research program at NZP has appropriately evolved into the new Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Aside from professional activities, DC is one of the more stimulating cities to live in with great opportunities for urban living and quick access to the outdoors. One way to appreciate DC's natural history is through a hobby that many share, nature photography - enjoy this great website: DCNature.com.
I stay active in my community and surround myself with people I can always learn from. I also appreciate being able to help others by giving back - to achieve those things important in their lives. I'm humbled by knowing what others have done for me - and are still doing every day to keep me on track and pursue my goals and ambitions. We should pass the torch whenever possible and remind ourselves we also receive support and encouragement.