Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | May 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: May 2024

There is nothing like a total solar eclipse to remind us that we, as humankind, are still most certainly dependent on this amazing galaxy and its stunning mix of stars, planets, dust, and fabric of interconnectedness. We’ll not see another total solar eclipse for at least 20 years, but I hope a sense of awe is retained by those that looked up (hopefully with eclipse glasses) and witnessed this remarkable galactic display in the heavenly realm. 

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of Aldo Leopoldo’s epic collection of conservation essays, A Sand County Almanac, which culminated with his seminal treatise, the Land Ethic. It is here that Leopold outlines our individual and collective responsibility as stewards of the natural world because we, too, are members of the same natural world — or biotic community as he characterizes it — and not separate from it. Leopold famously opined, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

And as you look through this month’s issue, you’ll see many examples where MDC is working to preserve or rebuild the health of our shared biotic community — in part by bringing nature closer to home for all Missourians (see Human Habitat on Page 16 about community conservation). My hope for all of us is that we never lose a sense of awe at the natural world — or with each other. We are members of the same community, after all.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director


This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale