This is a little more personal than other posts, but I wanted to share my history in regards to why I'm part of the environmental movement, and also a little background on who I am. This is by no means my full story, but it is what I believe the highlights of someone who comes from a lesser-known state in the US.
As a child, I grew up in the state of South Dakota's city capitol, Pierre. In my lifetime, I've moved to several different cities since the age of 7, but what remains the same is my fascination for one kind of animal in particular: Birds.
Birds are unique in such a way in that they constitute the only living dinosaurs in today's era. As a child, I always would catch baby birds to inspect them, and I've rescued one or two stunned birds in my tween years. My fascination with birds has made me realize the importance of preserving the environment. When I first heard of the Passenger Pigeon years ago, I was struck with sadness and disappointment that humans could be so cruel, so blind to the world that fosters them. Even recently my heart breaks with the rapid extinction of birds, and my recent discovery of the Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird. The last known individual recorded was a male singing a mating song, intended to attract females to join in to a duet. His calls were never answered, and the last male Kauaʻi ʻōʻō died in 1987.
My Father and His Work
This is the primary reason why I'm writing this post; my father was a smart man, and he never really told me or let me know just how big the scope of his work was. To give you an idea of how prolific of a man he was, he was one of the project leaders of ArcGIS, and he had made arguments for map data to be available to the public for the sake of agriculture. Learning about his work years later after his death only inspires me to continue with my drive to fight for the environment, especially in a state that has such little regard for its native denizens.
What I Do Today
Today, I actively champion on social media for the protection of the environment and I closely follow organizations like Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It was once my dream to become an Ornithologist, but that was not to be; even still, I find ways to make my voice heard.
Thank you, Public Lab, for doing what you do, and thank you, reader, for reading this.