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Town Haul Rewind: A Sit Down with the National Wildlife Federation’s Kristy Jones and Liz Sope‪r‬

Today is World Wildlife Day, an international celebration of all things forests, wildlife, and conservation. To celebrate, let’s take a look back at one of our most downloaded episodes of 2020 with an interview with the National Wildlife Federation.

Host Amy Koonin Taylor sits down with two of the brains behind the National Wildlife Federation, Kristy Jones and Liz Soper to talk about the importance of an environmental education. Rubicon is the official technology partner of their highly popular Campus Race to Zero Waste competition, working together to end waste.

On the mission of the National Wildlife Foundation:

LIZ SOPER: “The mission of NWF is really to unite all Americans to ensure that wildlife thrives in a rapidly changing world. And there’s no doubt in all of our minds these days that our world is rapidly changing. Whether it’s with this pandemic, like we’re facing right now, or the fact that more than one third of America’s fish and wildlife are at risk for extinction, or the climate crisis. It all really sets the stage for who I believe NWF is particularly right now. We are leading this charge with compassion. There are many structural inequalities in our societies; such as access to clean water, food, healthcare, or the impacts of pollution. I’ve always thought of NWF as being a very compassionate organization, a very diverse organization, a middle of the road organization, and we can cross the aisle. It’s this mission of really uniting all of these diverse folks together to ensure wildlife thrives and that people as well are healthy and taking care of our strategic plan. Our strategic plan focuses on protecting, restoring, and connecting wildlife habitat.”

On their unique conservation approach:

KRISTY JONES: “So in order for wildlife to be healthy and survive, they need places to live. They need places to raise their young, places to find their food, their water, their shelter. And in looking at this, NWF is looking at full landscape scale approaches to conservation. So not just really small individual areas, but big pieces of land. Knowing that many of our wildlife don’t have a concept of borders. They don’t know the border between America and Mexico or Canada, or even between states. So looking at habitat from a pretty large area perspective, we’re also looking very closely at creating healthy watersheds and water coastal areas, starting to look at creating living shorelines as we address the impacts of climate change. The concept of protecting, restoring, and connecting wildlife habitat is unique to the National Wildlife Federation.”

On how you can get involved:

LIZ SOPER: “I am the director of Pre-K to 12 education for the National Wildlife Federation. We really had to pivot and put a lot of this stuff (our hands on experiences) online. We have a webpage called our “virtual classroom page,” and it has all the different activities, lessons, virtual field trips, and our new YouTube channel. Teachers, students, and anyone who wants to learn more or get involved can find everything there. There are so many resources and educational opportunities on our website to learn about wildlife conservation.”

On what animal they would be and why:

KRISTY JONES: “I would say some type of marine mammal, like a dolphin or a whale, because I just think it would be awesome to be able to swim in the ocean for miles and miles and never get tired.”

LIZ SOPER: “I would have to say a hummingbird. If you’ve ever watched these birds, you know their wings and how rapid they are. They’ve got a lot of spunk and I’d love to be a hummingbird. I think that’d be great.”

Listen to more episodes of the Town Haul Podcast.


Amy Koonin Taylor is Marketing Content and Media Manager at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.

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