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Ellen Ketterson: So, my brother is 11 years older than I am,
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and, when I was three or four,
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he was a boy scout, and he was earning a badge on bird identification.
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He decided it would be fun to have me learn the names of birds.
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So, I could identify birds before I could read.
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I definitely attribute my lifelong interest in birds to my early experience with my brother.
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My name is Ellen Ketterson, and I'm a bird biologist.
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And, in fact, I've been studying birds for 50 years.
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Ellen Ketterson: We have to be careful at this stage, because I think she --
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-- Yeah, she was biting the net, and sometimes they can get a tongue caught, so we have to be really careful.
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Ellen Ketterson: I was taught how to study birds by people who knew how to treat them gently,
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and how to uncover their secrets. And I try to pass that along,
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with those same commitments to objectivity and rigor and expanded view of what our responsibilities are.
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Ketterson speaking to others: The reason we can know that is that they grow these wing feathers
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and coverts while still in the nest.
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Ketterson speaking to interviewers: Birds and people -- vertebrate animals,
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everything alive, really -- comes from common descent.
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The similarities I see in humans and birds evokes in me this desire to keep them safe.
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It's like a sense of family, in that I feel a sense of relatedness.
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And, just as I do with my family, I want to use whatever skills or talents I have to keep them safe.
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I feel the same way about birds. I have this feeling of having made a contribute to
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how things were so that we can understand and appreciate the rate at which they're changing.
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The Environmental Resilience Institute is an outgrowth of the Grand Challenges initiative.
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And our mission is to provide the people of the state of Indiana with predictions
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about the nature of environmental change,
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what's coming, and what they can expect, so they can be prepared for it.
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I am dedicated to the proposition that the world can be a better place for those who follow us,
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if we give the time that's allotted to us to making it that way.
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Human beings have the capacity to be quite resilient and have shown over millennia that
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we're good problem solvers, but we're the best kind of problem solvers when we work together.
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For Those Who Follow Video Transcript
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