23 Oct I Am No Expert – The Joy Trip Project
Smack in the middle of the North American Association of Environmental Educators Conference my business card scanner started working again. Held this year in my home town of Madison Wisconsin the event brought into my world some of the finest minds working diligently on the critical issues of science in the natural world. Most inspired by the keynote from Dr. David Suzuki, a renown geneticist from British Columbia host of “The Nature of Things”, I took to heart his prophetic words of rebuke and encouragement. “It is un-American to say there is nothing we can do about climate change,” he said.
Compared to the cataclysmic consequences of ecologic collapses updating the software of a desktop peripheral seemed a much less daunting task. Once again at this conference I had gathered up a vast collection of contact information on stiff rectangles of paper that piled high in a stack on my desk. Eager to maintain and expand these new relationships I tried one more time to make this handy little device work.
My Dymo Cardscan Executive V9 stopped functioning more than a year ago. The new Apple operating system was incompatible with the unit’s firmware which remained unrecognizable. Too lazy to manually enter contact details on the many business cards I tend to accumulate in my travels I allowed the stack to grow and grow. After a lengthy consult with a very helpful customer service specialist and few minor adjustments of my system preferences the Dymo whirred to life. One by one it drew in each card transcribing the vital statistics of name, address and phone number into neat data files ready for export into my address book. As of this morning I have 231 new contacts and the exciting prospects of inviting each of them into The Joy Trip Project. Welcome!
In recent months I’ve attended conferences like the NAAEE, the North American Congress For Conservation Biology and the Americas Latino Eco Festival. Despite presenting talks on the issues of diversity and inclusion in the field of environmental conservation I’ve been given perhaps a bit more credit than I deserve. Identified by some as an expert I have been invited to speak on college campuses and at community centers across the country. Perhaps that’s how you and I became acquainted. In my travels I have met many incredible people dedicated to making the natural world more accessible to under represented members of our society. It is my hope that we can expand the obligations of environmental stewardship to include more people of color and the socio-economically disenfranchised. But to be clear I am no expert.
I am a journalist. It is my role merely to share the stories of those who are making a difference in efforts to bring the outdoors into the lives of all the world’s people. I simply connect the dots to paint a picture full of optimism and hope. And now that the Dymo is working again I hope that we can stay in touch and share these compelling narratives.
Don’t hesitate to drop me a note with your questions or comments or just to say hello. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org