For Those Who Follow Us

For Those Who Follow Us


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>> Ellen Ketterson: So, my brother is 11 years older than I am, and, when I was three or four, he was a boy scout, and he was earning a badge on bird identification. He decided it would be fun to have me learn the names of birds. So, I could identify birds before I could read. I definitely attribute my lifelong interest in birds to my early experience with my brother. My name is Ellen Ketterson, and I'm a bird biologist. And, in fact, I've been studying birds for 50 years.

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>> Ellen Ketterson: We have to be careful at this stage, because I think she -- -- Yeah, she was biting the net, and sometimes they can get a tongue caught, so we have to be really careful.

>> Ellen Ketterson: I was taught how to study birds by people who knew how to treat them gently, and how to uncover their secrets. And I try to pass that along, with those same commitments to objectivity and rigor and expanded view of what our responsibilities are.

>> Ketterson speaking to others: The reason we can know that is that they grow these wing feathers and coverts while still in the nest.

>> Ketterson speaking to interviewers: Birds and people -- vertebrate animals, everything alive, really -- comes from common descent. The similarities I see in humans and birds evokes in me this desire to keep them safe. It's like a sense of family, in that I feel a sense of relatedness. And, just as I do with my family, I want to use whatever skills or talents I have to keep them safe. I feel the same way about birds. I have this feeling of having made a contribute to how things were so that we can understand and appreciate the rate at which they're changing. The Environmental Resilience Institute is an outgrowth of the Grand Challenges initiative. And our mission is to provide the people of the state of Indiana with predictions about the nature of environmental change, what's coming, and what they can expect, so they can be prepared for it. I am dedicated to the proposition that the world can be a better place for those who follow us, if we give the time that's allotted to us to making it that way. Human beings have the capacity to be quite resilient and have shown over millennia that we're good problem solvers, but we're the best kind of problem solvers when we work together.

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