Hi I’m Jon Jarvis. I’m the new executive director for the Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity. And we have a gathering here today in Hakone Gardens to talk about research, the effort of the Institute, and to talk with some students that are actually doing research. I’ve spent my entire life working in the outdoors, in conservation. I went on to work in the National Park Service for my entire career—40 years. And then ultimately as the Director of the National Park Service. So we’re entering a period of both a great excitement and a lot of challenges that relate to climate change in particular but the way we think about parks and equivalent reserves. It’s really important for the planet that we have places like this. The Sierra Mountains clean our air and water. The ocean provides us food and
moderates the climate. All these natural resources are necessary for our own
human existence. You know as they say: nature does not need people. People need nature. Given that we have to rely on philanthropy to engage in activities like those under the Institute for Parks, People, and Biodiversity, we are looking for support from the outside. Most fundamentally we need support for our graduate students. You will not have the next generation of scientists or NGO leaders unless we can support the graduate students through the training period as they’re launched onto their careers. You won’t win every battle, but if you’re persistent, and you apply strategy, and you work hard, you can accomplish, and you can save things. You can take down dams and restore rivers, and you can see species restored on the landscape, and you can see people having extraordinary experiences in these places and they just come alive at the same time. To assume that that will just be taken care of by somebody I think is a mistake we need to help build the next generation of people that care about these places and have the right education and skill set to be able to do that.