Guest Speaker: Dr. Karen Glennemeier, Biologist and Habitat Restoration Specialist
Dr. Glennemeier will speak on the topic, Local Prairie Restoration and Green Movement. For many decades, those who cared about the care and keeping of our earth have viewed the role of humankind as primarily destructive; our role has been to harm nature and subjugate it. Beginning in the 1970s, a new role began to emerge – that of stewards. As the “back to the earth” movement took hold, more and more people began to view our roles not just as destroyers, but as potential healers as well. Today this movement includes thousands of people in the Chicago Region – and many more thousands in cities across the globe – who spend their free time or devote their careers to restoring health to the natural areas in their communities. The work involves removing invasive species, monitoring wildlife, installing nest boxes, cleaning up streams, planting native wildflowers, lobbying local officials, raising money, educating the public, and much more. This collective work is saving the biodiversity that took 12,000 years to evolve and that would be irrevocably lost without us. It is restoring the human spirit and helping us to see ourselves in a new light – that of stewards and restorers, who are a necessary, integral component of a diverse, healthy planet.
Karen Glennemeier earned a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan, where she studied ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. She currently is a Restoration Ecologist with the Shedd Aquarium, conducting restoration of local amphibian habitat in conjunction with the Shedd’s new amphibian exhibit. Prior to her role with the Shedd Aquarium, Dr. Glennemeier was Science Director at Audubon-Chicago Region, where she organized citizen science and habitat restoration in local prairies and woodlands for more than a decade.