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Educational Outreach:
Secondary and Universities

Educational Outreach: Secondary (High) Schools and Universities
Feedback from the students of Worthington Kilbourne High School, Columbus, Ohio - September 28, 2006

Student - 24

Summary:

  • Mr. Marr is a conservationist who spoke to us specifically about tigers. These tigers are on the verge of extinction; in 1900 there were 100,000 tigers in the wild. Now, there are only 2,000 (in India) left. There were originally 8 subspecies of tigers, but three have gone extinct, and on living only in captivity.
  • Debunking the popular stereotype the Western civilization is single-handedly ruining the environment, Mr. Marr demonstrated that it is also the locals and third world civilizations that have a large hand in destroying their own landscape, ruining it for later (or sometimes their own) generations. The three reasons he gave for Indiaís environmental changes are: climate change, deforestation and overgrazing.
  • The reason Mr. Marr is campaigning so hard in schools and universities is because he believes the key to the tigerís and the Earthís survival lies in the younger generation. He says, "If we canít save even the tiger, I donít know what we can save." He says this because the tiger is the icon of all endangered species.

Opinion:

I was really impressed by the vast amount of knowledge that Mr. Marr shared with us. He came across to me like he was down to earth, and not a biased lector coming in to yell at us about how we (Western Civilization) are ruining the earth. This was one of the more important things for me to see; not the presentation, though I enjoyed that as well, but the character and demeanor Mr. Marr had. I think it is so important for people to "walk the walk", not just "talk the talk". From the extensive videos and picture that we saw, I know that Mr. has walked the walk, instead of some hypocritical politicians yelling at us, warning us about global warming, etc., yet going around in their huge SUVs, just oblivious to the real "problems" as we are.

I also enjoyed hearing about the culture in rural India. It is really hard for an urban-dwelling person like myself to envision that kind of poverty. I always wondered why people wanted to poach animals like tigers, but itís not a need as much as a necessity for some of them. Fifty dollars is a lot for those people, and now I understand why these tigers are becoming extinct.

Mr. Marrís eagerness to help is another thing that really struck me as rare, but that is what needs to be done. I think there has been a lot of research on these topics, but few people are doing much to solve the problems. The fact that Mr. Marr and his team are willing to teach these villagers how to conserve and not rely on poaching is very impressing.

I donít have a whole lot of criticism, but am a little fuzzy on a few areas that he touched on. I know he mentioned that media and international pressure is needed to bring about change, but besides getting TV crews and the while nine yard, he didnít really offer too many other solutions, like the little things that everyone can do. I also meant to ask a question about US poaching less than other countries, but didnít have the opportunity to. I am assuming that the reason that US poaching is much less is because our economy is strong enough to support its citizens; plus the poorer folk in America tend to live in cities, not in the country. Just a guess.

Overall, I really did like the presentation, and I like Mr. Marrís witty sense of humor. Though I am not an animal rights activist by any stretch of the imagination, I do love animals, and am glad to see this type of presentation by someone who knows what they are talking about, who is not arrogant and condescending towards the rest of us. It was well done and I am glad Mr. Marr took the time out of his busy schedule to come and talk to us.
 

Go on to Student - 25
Return to Educational Outreach: Secondary (High) Schools and Universities
 


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