Our Urban Oasis – Creating Habitat for Wildlife in Action | Alex Harper | TEDxFremontEastDistrict


Alex Harper, an ecologist, shares his depth of knowledge and weaves several large concepts and community actions into this educational and inspiring talk. He details water shortages, drought’s effects on the Mojave Desert, and how wildlife such as migratory birds are becoming more dependent on metro areas for habitat and water. He explains what a heat island is, and how there is a connection between heat and a lack of tree or plant density. This talk argues that planting drought-tolerant and native plants best suited for the longer term is a key solution to curtail the effects of heat islands. By planting trees that mitigate the heat island effect that are drought-tolerant, we are also creating habitat for birds and pollinators. This holistic conservation strategy addresses several problems that people often think are independent of each other. He also shares how mindful attention in nature is critical, to our mental health. Time in nature lowers stress levels, and communities with access to nature demonstrate lower levels of anxiety and depression, drops in crime and abuse decrease, and school performance increases. Who wouldn’t want that? Bird biologist and science communicator for a conservation organization based in southern Nevada, Alex believes that nature is more than space in the natural world, but a place where curiosity, creativity and resilience can be expressed through practices like mindfulness.. His past experiences include biological field monitoring on renewable energy sites, documenting Peregrine Falcon migration in important habitats, and conducting integrated bird population surveys across the western United States. More recently, he has become interested in connecting people to the natural world in urban areas, especially influenced by the wellness effects that come with increased exposure to nature. Inspired by recent research, authors, and his family of social workers. Now more than ever, he believes that valuing nature is more than a conservation initiative; it’s an investment in ourselves. Alex is an occasional writer, wildlife photographer, and naturalist for an expedition travel company. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx


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