Friday, May 16, 2008

For Wolves and Wilderness

So I actually got to go to the "Living with Wolves" presentation last night. More information about their actual project can be found on my site and theirs.

Their project became so big that they made two documentaries on it and a few books. The documentaries air on the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet every-so-often; they are very good.

My professor went to the conference that was being held in New Hampshire on Tuesday and told them all about me. They told her that they wanted me to come to the one in Connecticut "as their guest," seeing has how it wasn't open to the public. So I convinced my Dad and he drove me all the way to CT, a two and a half hour drive (I hate driving and I have no sense of direction, so I would have gotten lost).

When we got there, the Dutchers were just arriving. After they set up a few things, they came over to me and I introduced myself. Right away they knew who I was and they said that they were very happy I came. We took some pictures and talked a little before they had to help set up again.

While my Dad and I were sitting in the theater room, the woman who travels with the Dutchers came over and started talking to me about wolves and college and whatnot. She then asked if I wanted to help pass out brochures before the presentation started, which I did. Jim and Jamie were sitting at a table across from me
(book signing) while I was doing that, so I got to talk to them more. Jim came right over to me and we talked about the recent de-listing of wolves off the Endangered Species list. They both said that they were very impressed with what I knew.

Right before they started showing the slide show, Jim did a special thanks to producers, the principal from the school, and then me. It was so awesome to hear them honor me like that!

The presentation itself was a good 20 minutes talking about the killing of wolves and how they have been stripped of their protection. After that, they had a slide show of all the members of the Sawtooth Pack and they went over the roles of a wolf pack, their names, etc. Lastly, they cut their documentaries into a 40 minute movie and showed us that. It's been a little while since I watched them last (I own them), so it was a nice refresher.

At the end, before everyone left, Jamie said: "And again, I would like to thank Kelsey, who came all the way from Cape Cod, MA, to see this presentation and care so much for these wolves." I wanted to die of joy.

"To Kelsey - for wolves and wilderness. Wolves need more friends like you. Thank you so much for your support. We are sure you will make a huge impact on this world! Our very best, Jamie and Jim Dutcher (signed in my book).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spread My Wings and Fly

I've had a very exciting morning already. Ever had a teacher/professor in your lifetime that really made an impact? I sure have, this first year of college too. My Biology professor has been one of the best instructors I have ever had.

I presented my website at her science fair, which some of you know was a success. Well, one of my pages was dedicated to the "Sawtooth Pack," a pack of wolves -one which I adopted- studied by a couple for six years. They stayed in a tent in the Idaho wilderness to learn and earn this pack's trust. They have created "documentaries" (both in which I have) and have been very well-known in wolf conservation.

Well, every year, they go around the United States and hold conferences to educate schools and the public about the success of their project. I told this to my Biology professor, who went to the conference last night that was held in New Hampshire (where she lives).

While she was there, she got me their book, signed by them, and she printed out the front page of my website to give to them. They told her that they wanted me to go to the conference on Thursday, in Connecticut (not far from MA), "as their guest" because they wanted to meet me. It's not open to the public, but they are allowing me in!

I must say, this is a pretty big deal for me. Depending on my parents, I may finally be able to meet some of my heroes, Jim and Jamie Dutcher!

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dreams Missed, Opportunities Made

Happy Mother's Day!

Today, I woke up to text and it resulted in tears. I received an e
mail from a young girl who I used to babysit for before she was old enough to take care of herself and her brother. The girl, named Caitie, is a good friend and loves wildlife just as much as I do. Her father transported animals for a zoo they have been visiting for many years and they know the managers/workers there very well. Because of their friendships, Caitie's family has the pleasure in receiving "backstage" pass-like tours of the zoo. They have done everything from holding baby tigers, to taking their pictures with primates.

Well, on Monday night, one of the zoo employees they knew stopped by their house and asked if she could spend the night because she was practically falling asleep at the wheel. She was on her way back to the zoo with a few animals in her care: a capuchin monkey and...a seven-week-old
wolf puppy. Caitie, her brother, and the rest of her family spent an entire night interacting with the pup, a dream I have always wished for.

She emailed me this morning, after the woman had left, to tell me of her experience. Though I was very happy for her, I was of course crushed at the fact that I couldn't have been there as well. For legal reasons, they didn't want anyone coming to the house, so Caitie wasn't allowed to say anything until she was gone.

So there was wolf puppy about 2 miles away from me the last night night, probably the closest I have been to the species I have dedicated my entire life to so far. Aside from zoos, where I'm standing on a hill and behind three fences. However, Caitie's family, being the amazing people they are, will be trying to get my family the same "backstage passes" that they receive. Thank you Caitie!