Wildlife Vocalizations: Josh Luebke

Luebke discusses the importance of keeping an open mind and fighting prejudices

The biggest lesson that life has taught me so far is to keep an open mind and to do my best to fight any prejudices that I may have learned throughout my life. These prejudices could be as simple as seeing the good that spiders and snakes do for their ecosystems rather than viewing them as “creepy crawlies.” Many of them can be as cute as puppies or kittens!

A selfie of Luebke taken at St. Mary’s Glacier in Colorado in 2021. Image courtesy of Josh Luebke.

Other prejudices are trickier to navigate, such as any deep-set acts or thoughts of racism, sexism, etc. People come from all different walks of life, and differences between all of us should be seen as opportunities to learn and celebrate the things that make each of us unique. The biggest challenge that I face in my field of outdoor education and interpretation is finding ways for people to connect with each other. That almost always has to start interpreter.
Meeting other people, animals and plants with a closed mind means that you have stopped learning the truth about them.

Luebke (far right) with friends Nicole, Connie, Kelli, and Josh at Alpine Hills Adventure Park leading a 2023 Valentine’s day Cocoa & Co. Hike/Bike event. Image courtesy of Josh Luebke.

I am not perfect by any means, but looking inward to find and learn about the things that scare me or make me uncomfortable has become a tried and true method of opening my mind to the unknown to understand the world and embrace all of the things that make it beautifully diverse.

Wildlife Vocalizations is a collection of short personal perspectives from people in the field of wildlife sciences. Learn more about Wildlife Vocalizations, and read other contributions.

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Header Image: Luebke holds a Pi, the bald eagle, during the Care and Management of Captive Raptors Workshop offered by The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota in 2023. Image courtesy of Josh Luebke.