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What is ‘Conservation’?

January 3, 2012

The definition:

prevention of injury, decay, waste, or loss; the careful utilization of a natural resource in order to prevent depletion

But what does it really mean? Field Museum scientists share their thoughts about what conservation means to them. Before I share those thoughts with you, let me announce a friendly competition during Occupy The Field Museum (#OTFM):

How many times does the word ‘conservation’ appear in Restoring Earth?

Send your answer with a tweet (@letUbeU), comment on Facebook (letubeu) or comment below and the closest guess will win a prize from the Field Museum gift shop.

Back to the scientists…here are their responses when asked, what does conservation mean to you?

Josh Drew, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biodiversity Synthesis Center (@labroides)

Conservation is about preserving the staggering diversity of life.

Debra Moskovits, PhD, Senior Vice President, Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo):

Conservation begins with respect for all species, including our own. For me, it means protecting our natural environment, so that all of us can thrive.

Larry Heaney, PhD, Curator and Head, Division of Mammals:

Creating a stable environment, for all species, because humans depend on stability for survival.

Laurel Ross, Urban Conservation Director, ECCo:

It means reconnecting people with nature and restoring the relationship between humans and our landscape.

Mark Westneat, curator of Zoology; Robert A. Pritzker Director, Biodiversity Synthesis Center:

Action–the willingness to take steps to reduce the negative human impact on biodiversity and the environment.

If you’ve read this far, be sure to tune in on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday for more quotes, facts, and pictures from Restoring Earth at The Field Museum. Future posts will be posted here: Occupy The Field Museum.

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