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ENCORE: Wildlife biologist and author connects the genetic dots between humans and wildlife to make a case that we aren’t separate from nature

As this week marks the lead up to the 52nd annual Earth Day on Friday, April 22, marking the birth of the modern environmental movement more than half a century ago, we listen back to our conversation from earlier this spring with wildlife biologist, photographer, journalist and author Douglas Chadwick. His motto is “Do unto ecosystems as you would have them do unto you.” He has published 15 books and more than 200 articles, including more than 50 for National Geographic, which he’s worked with since 1977.

His writing has also been featured in other publications including Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon, The Huffington Post, Backpacker, TV Guide, The Smithsonian Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Reader's Digest, and Outside. And he has appeared in two PBS documentaries: Night of the Grizzlies (2010) and Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom (2010).

In his latest book, "Four Fifths a Grizzly: A New Perspective on Nature that Just Might Save Us All," Chadwick explores the surprisingly close relationship between human DNA and that of mammals like grizzly bears, with whom we share 80% of our DNA. In it, he reflects on the value of exposure to nature on human biochemistry and mentality, that we are not that far removed from our ancestors who lived closer to nature.

Last month, Chadwick visited Southwest Florida for a lecture through the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society about his philosophy and his new book. Ahead of the event, he spoke with WGCU's Mike Kiniry.