|Tamara Johnson (bottom, right) works with a high school to bring the students closer to nature. Credit: USFWS|
Tamara Johnson works as the energy biologist in the Georgia Ecological Services Field Office in Athens. Along with overseeing renewable energy projects, she gets to do recovery work with aquatic invertebrates and environmental outreach throughout Georgia.
5 Questions for Tamara
1. Did you grow up in a city? If so, where, and what enabled you to develop a connection with nature? If not, why is urban outreach important to you?
I grew up in a suburb of Atlanta, in a house surrounded by trees and lots of wildlife. Being homeschooled for several years allowed me to make my classroom the outdoors many days, where I enjoyed catching caterpillars and lizards. This unstructured outdoor time was where my appreciation for wildlife was born.
2. How did you keep a connection to nature while living in an urban area?
Growing up on the edge of a major city meant that an urban setting and a more natural setting were not mutually exclusive; I could appreciate any green space that was available, whether it was a tree-lined neighborhood street or watching squirrels fight over acorns on a college campus. Engaging with urban nature helped me relish the even more natural areas that were not as readily accessible, while still valuing all of the wildlife found within the city limits.