What aspect of the presentation suprised you the most? In other words, what part of the job of an environmental scientist did you learn about that you weren’t previously aware of?
The part of the presentation that surprised me the most was the unique and thoughtful solutions for environmental problems that were used. The speaker talked about his job in the world wildlife fund where he went to Mongolia to address the decreasing population of the Taimen fish there. When he visited at first, he had no idea why these fish were becoming so endangered so quickly- their environment and surroundings were perfectly suited for thriving, let alone surviving. After looking at the area, he found that many rich Mongolians and Chinese people were flying in to fish in this area. When I learned about this problem, I assumed that he would have solved the problem by making the river a protected wildlife area or some other legal way of solving the problem that requires a lot of paperwork. Instead, he chose a much more pragmatic approach. He made it easy and accessible for American catch and return fishermen to come to Mongolia. This actually benefited the surrounding villagers and provided them with a source of income as well as increasing the population of Taimen in the rivers.
My personal assumption before listening to this talk was that in environmental sciences it is difficult to cause real change and the only way to do this is through legislation. As a person who really likes action and quick solutions to problems, I was very surprised and excited that he came up with a smart and easy to begin fix for this taimen problem.