Guardian of the Environment
A day does not pass without the media reporting that the environment is threatened by global warming and a host of other causes. Wendi Weber, deputy regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Northeast, has dedicated her career to working on such causes.
Weber, who holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from URI and a master’s degree in fisheries from the University of Georgia, is responsible for conserving, protecting, and enhancing fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats in 13 states from Maine to Virginia. She tries to minimize the adverse effects of environmental threats and take preemptive action to preserve the natural environment.
Paramount among her worries is climate change: “It’s an overarching concern for the Northeast Region. Models show that sea levels are rising. As a result, we’re losing shoreline and habitats are changing.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service is doing its part to combat this problem. In Weber’s region, for example, local offices are reducing their carbon footprint by recycling and making their buildings more energy efficient.
Population growth is another issue that impacts the Northeast. With nearly one-quarter of the nation’s population residing in this area, Weber says that education is critical to mitigating environmental risk: “We provide technical assistance to members of the public to help them make environmentally sound decisions.”
Weber stresses that the need for public outreach is not limited to adults. All of us, and especially our children, have to be aware of the importance of conservation. “We need to get children outdoors connecting with nature rather than remaining inside in front of their TVs and computers,” says Weber, who urges everyone to spend time outdoors enjoying scenic areas and national wildlife refuges.
Weber hopes the public will think globally while acting locally to conserve our natural resources. She hopes we can maintain a place of clean, diverse, and healthy living for generations to come.
—Maria V. Caliri ’86, M.B.A. ’92