Photo of Nikki Lamp. Credit: USFWS

My conservation legacy is to play a part in protecting our awe-inspiring natural places like the ones I grew up experiencing as a child in Wisconsin and to help develop the next generation of conservation professionals.

-- Nikki Lamp, USFWS, Atlanta GA

Photo of Erin Rivenbark. Credit: USFWS

I've been very lucky to have had lots of wonderful experiences in the wild - from seeing a new species for the first time to being completely overwhelmed by the beauty of a place, so I hope my conservation legacy is to help the people in my life have memorable experiences outdoors - that connection is so critical for appreciating nature, but it also changes us.

-- Erin Rivenbark, USFWS, Atlanta, GA

Photo of Erin Rivenbark. Credit: USFWS

I lean on the legacy of Aldo Leopold as one of his devotees born from the limestone bluffs of Wisconsin. His influence on my studies was tangible when I was a graduate student at UW-Madison and for the twenty years that followed as I defined my own land ethic. The aspect of our natural landscapes that I love, and that I hold as spiritual, are the tiny details. A Pasque flower behind my 10x lens as I teeter on a steep goat prairie, the hidden patch of snow trillium perched above a stream, the bed of freshwater mussels that no one else notices – these little niches are each my church. Children from my years of nature hikes tell me they remember the time when I showed them to reverently handle a red salamander. I want my legacy to include that I shared earth’s small wonders so that our collective land ethic grew – bit by tiny bit.

-- Karene Motivans, USFWS, Shepherdstown, WV

Photo of Erin Rivenbark. Credit: USFWSThroughout my entire employment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, various supervisors and mentors had a hand in shaping who I am as a person as well as a conservation and education professional. Starting my career as a volunteer, I went from being an environmental education intern to biologist to a training specialist here at the National Conservation Training Center. All along this journey, I had supportive supervisors and coworkers who encouraged me to pursue these different career paths. Now, I am responsible for providing environmental education training to Service employees and other conservation professionals. I am proud to be involved with the Department of the Interior’s Youth in the Great Outdoors Initiative that engages, educates and employs young people. It is my hope that, having been inspired by others before me, I will in turn inspire the next generation of conservation leaders and encourage them to pursue a diversity of careers within the agency all dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitats.

-- Michelle Donlan, USFWS, Shepherdstown, WV

Photo of Erin Rivenbark. Credit: USFWS

I enjoy working as a Course Leader with Outreach, Human Dimensions and Partnerships in the Conservation Land Management Branch at the National Conservation Training Center. I love to help increase stewardship and conservation of our natural world through education and helping adults and children to have a more personal connection to our environment. Remember to GET outside some, to connect with and to share with others, that which we help to conserve. 

-- Nancy Zapotocki, USFWS, Shepherdstown, WV

Photo of Erin Rivenbark. Credit: USFWS

Since I was a child, my parents took my siblings and I to every museum in our path. All of my life I have been intrigued by history, museums, and wildlife. To be able to connect these three interests is the best of all worlds. As a Museum Curator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I feel that I am recording and preserving the legacy of our employees and their endeavors, which have changed our country, and even the world. The Service is the steward of our environment and the creatures that inhabit it, and I get to be the steward of that legacy. What an honor!

-- Jeanne Harold, USFWS, Shepherdstown, WV

Photo of Erin Rivenbark. Credit: USFWS

My eldest child, Madeline, reveres Mardy Murie (whom she met) and Rachel Carson (whom she portrayed in a play). My middle child, Andre, lives to fish every summer near Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. My youngest child, Theodore of course, will only read books about animals and has a fierce sense of environmental justice—litterbugs face his wrath. My conservation legacy is reflected in my 3 children who encapsulate in their unique personalities my passion for history both natural and cultural, my love of running water with wary fish, and my lifelong fascination with the life sciences.

-- Mark Madison, USFWS, Shepherdstown, WV

Photo of Erin Rivenbark. Credit: USFWSIt is awoken early in childhood. For me it began in suburban Maryland, under the strength and beauty of maples, oaks, and pines, listening to the voices of cardinals, wrens, and chickadees. In western Maryland's rolling hillsides, watching clouds and sparrows from fields rising to meet Sugarloaf Mountain. Along Delaware's sandy shores, digging for sand crabs, and watching quick-footed sanderlings, floating, tilting gulls, and the slow travels of horseshoe crabs. It is awoken early in childhood: That sense of wonder, connection and vitality in nature. This is what I awake every day to make possible for current and future generations of children wherever they may live and learn and grow.

-- Roxanne Bogart, USFWS, Hadley, MA