Roots and Shoots - Helping to Save the Environment

Tell us about a talent, experience, contribution or personal quality you will bring to the University of California.

The growling clouds had barely begun to slink away from the rain-lashed sky when a pale face bounded gleefully to the soggy window, her smile reflected in the prismatic droplets clinging to the glass. There was only one thing on her mind today: the squirming, slimy refugees scattered on the pavement outside.

I had always loved helping animals and conserving the environment; when I was a toddler, I would walk around after the rain, picking up the worms and putting them back in the ground. I guess that's what first drew me towards the Roots and Shoots program. Roots and Shoots is a youth environmental program founded by the famous scientist Jane Goodall. When our Roots and Shoots Project had just begun we met Dr. Sakai, who was busy working on a very unique project: tagging and tracking monarch butterflies.

One of the most common questions we get is "Why in the world would you want to tag a monarch butterfly?" The answer is simple; we tag to track, and track to save. The main threat to monarchs is the destruction of habitat. If we track where the butterflies are migrating to, then we can protect the groves and areas they stay in. The monarch tags we use are only a little sticker, placed as close to the base of...

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