D. Linda Garcia, PhD.

Associate Professor, Georgetown University

When we lose a species, we risk a major—perhaps life-threatening—loss

Spending my summers growing up in the New Jersey highlands, I always felt at home with nature and appreciated its beauty and serenity. Among my best memories are my outings with my father, who taught me to identify all of the plants and animals to be found there.

Now, as a professor at Georgetown University, I have fewer opportunities to spend my hours in the woods. But I have come to appreciate nature in a wholly different guise. Teaching courses based on an understanding of complexity, I have learned that complex systems such as the economy, our cities, our brains, our cells, and YES, our environment, depend on diversity for their creativity and well-being.

When we lose a species, we risk a major—perhaps life-threatening—loss. I am very happy that our country has a strong law like the Endangered Species Act, which can do much to prevent continuing loses of diversity in our natural world.