Vernon LaVia

Earth Avoidance and the Widening Nature Gap

Humans knowingly or not are increasingly avoiding nature. From walking and driving on pavement to living and working in manufactured environments; there’s a nature gap and it’s growing. Fortunately, there are some simple and easy remedies to close this gap, and it begins with… a bird watcher (or “birder”). For 47 years, Vernon LaVia has adventured to 6 continents, 48 countries, and all 50 U.S. states in the pursuit of listing bird species. Since the age of 7, he has recorded over 3,600 species, joining a rare group of “superlisters” who have compiled massive “life lists” of birds they’ve identified. In North America, he’s identified 740 (81 percent) of the 914 known bird species. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Audubon Society.

About Vernon

Vernon LaVia has a B.A. in Economics from Duke University (where he was also part of the Navy ROTC) and has spent the last 15 years at Fortune 100 companies, opening over a dozen businesses himself. He is currently the CEO of Defibrillators, Inc., a company that distributes and sells portable defibrillators throughout the U.S. He has been married to his wife, Linda, for 26 years and has 2 daughters, Veronica and Jacqueline. He’s always willing to lead anyone on a nature hike.

TEDxNaperville

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

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