Mark Shepherd, Ph.D., QEP.
I have been in the environmental movement for over 20 years helping to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land that sustains us and the natural and biological resources we depend on. I have worked to implement environmentally sustainable programs as a researcher, government employee and consultant to several international fortune 500 companies. When community leaders or senior managers ask me how build a more sustainable city or more environmentally responsible company, I point to two very simple, but little used concepts: personal action and transparency.
Personal action is important because if no one shows up to help, nothing really happens. For example, each of us can be personally involved in helping to slow down the loss of biodiversity. Habitat loss happens locally and is the result of both active and passive decisions. When we realize that we humans share ownership of the Earth, along with all of the many other species, we will take better care of it and recognize the unique position and effects we have.
Transparency is important because with it we often wind up focused on the smaller issues, missing the bigger picture solutions. I started this blog because I see a need remove the “mis” from the misinformation about causes of environmental problems – thats what I mean by transparency. The good news is that there are solutions to our environmental predicament, but to find them we must incorporate the reality that humans are a part of and also affect the environment.
My formal education includes a Ph.D. in Environmental Health & Toxicology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, a MES in Environmental Studies & Biology, and a BA in Political Science.
Justin Shepherd is a conservation artist based in Austin, Texas, and the creator of the “When They Are Gone” Art Series. In this series, the shadows represent estimated population sizes 30 to 50 years ago and the color painting represents estimated population size today. When a species is lost, only a shadow remains.
Justin attends Texas State University and is majoring in biology and minoring biochemistry.