"These Are a Few Of Our Favorite Things"
Inspired by "My Favorite Things"
Song by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers
What is your favorite thing to teach others about our planet?
Name: Lauren Watkins, Ph.D.
Title: Director, Behavior Change Strategies
Organization: IMPACT BY DESIGN
"I am most passionate about teaching others about the concept of ‘one health’—that the health of people, animals, and the environment are inextricably linked and dependent on one another. This interconnectedness has always fascinated me. I love teaching others how to explore the environment through a lens of how things interact with one another and how human behavior can positively impact the health of the entire planet system!"
Name: Eddie Love
Title: Program Manager and D.E.I.J. Committee Chair
Organization: The Ocean Foundation
"I enjoy teaching others how connected everything in the universe is, but particularly, how everything we do impacts the environment. I work to protect our oceans, and it brings me joy to inspire, educate, and encourage everyone I know to do their part. Whether you're landlocked, on the coast, or live by the river, you have a role to play!"
"What I love most is witnessing the real-time change in behavior people make over time as a result of our conversations! Because of that, I'm extremely optimistic about the future of our planet!"
Name: Diamon Clark
Title: Founder, Black By Nature
Organization: Black By Nature
"My favorite thing to teach others about our planet is how to be curious about the nature they encounter every day. My teaching philosophy centers independent curiosity as the most important skill to developing environmental stewards. I love teaching about curiosity and nature awareness because I believe the most power lies in the questions we can ask about the world around us. By starting here, no matter where or who you are, there is no barrier to entry."
Name: Derek Esibill
Title: Program Director
Organization: Pacific American Foundation
“Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono” is the Hawaiʻi State motto. Translated, it can mean 'The life of the Land is perpetuated in harmonious balance.' Humans are, in Hawaiian epistemology, part of the natural system. We have a place in nature and a relationship with everything. It brings me great joy when students have that 'a-ha' moment and begin to understand their relationship with nature. Then they can start asking meaningful questions that benefit us all."
Name: Justin Birkhoff
Title: Development Manager—Conservation Specialist
Organization: Cheetah Conservation Fund
"I love teaching people about the beautiful wildlife that exists around the world by sharing little, sometimes obscure facts about an animal’s biology and its natural history, and facilitating the moment where people connect with that species. It creates the opportunity to link back to the bigger picture of conservation and the innovative ways that communities are working to conserve wildlife. It fills me with joy to have those moments and have that person walk away with a shared piece of my passion!"
Name: Alerick Pacay
Organization: Semillas del Océano— Guatemala
"I love teaching others about the oceans and the life that inhabits the big blue!"
"It doesn't matter if it is teaching about a specific organism (like a fish, sea turtle, or whale), its body parts and adaptations to live in the sea, or if it is talking about more complex interactions between different ecosystems (like the ones that happen between mangroves, seagrass beds, and the coral reefs)."
"Every time I have the chance to meet people that want to learn about the oceans, I can spend hours and hours telling them how amazing it is!"
Name: Janée Zakoren
Title: Assistant Curator
Organization: Denver Zoo
"I get to help foster deep and meaningful connections to wildlife and the natural world in my role. I love seeing the light in someone's eyes when they see an endangered species up close and are in utter awe. These experiences create unique opportunities to teach people that supporting a healthy planet through their choices, particularly as consumers, can help preserve delicate ecosystems that sustain life on Earth. It is incredibly rewarding to help someone make those connections, realize their potential, and feel empowered to make changes (even the smallest change) to their consumer behavior because they, too, want a healthy planet with wildlife in wild places for generations to come."