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National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth
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Gregory Asner, PhD
Environmental Scientist

We asked each of our scientists to give us their thoughts on their professions and what they think the future holds for humanity.


What would you recommend for students wanting to pursue a similar career?
To be an environmental scientist, you need strong mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology skills. You should be comfortable working on computers as well in working out in the field – the forest, the grassland or whatever type of environment interests you. I suggest getting some experience as early as possible via internships in laboratories or organizations near to where you live. I have students from high school to the post-graduate level interning in my lab. They are learning skills needed to be a practicing scientist in the future.

What do you like best about your profession?
Learning how ecosystems function and how technology can be used to study and protect them.

What makes you most fearful for the future?
Human ignorance of the unique and troubled existence of Earth's ecosystems.

What makes you most hopeful for the future?
Human willpower for a better world.


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