You were recently honored as the Conservationist of the Year. When did you start being a conservationist?
I have always been interested in nature and wildlife and conserving resources, so in that sense, I have been a conservationist for as long as I can remember. I have always reused and recycled whatever I could. As a Boy Scout we picked up newspapers around town every month. My family always saved any metals and bottles that could be recycled. Fifty years ago they didn’t recycle plastics and paper other than newsprint.
What would be some conservation advice you would give to others who may be interested in becoming a conservationist?
Being a conservationist can save you money. Eighty percent of what you throw away can be recycled. When you recycle, you will usually become aware of all the stuff you buy that you really don’t need. What should follow is that you buy less of it. Turning down the heat or the air conditioner up will save you on your energy bills. Buying a more efficient car or driving slightly slower will save you gas … the list goes on. Awareness is the key.
You manage the Baker Wetlands. Why are you so interested in wildlife?
We are all part of nature. I enjoy being able to point out plants and animals of all types to other people so they realize what they share this planet with. My wife and I have led over 25 trips to foreign countries and hundreds locally to share the wonders of our planet with others. It is part of my desire to teach, to get others to open their eyes.
The renovated Mulvane Hall is being named after your father, Ivan L. Boyd. How will this make the building special to you?
My father taught biology here from 1941 until 1982. My first exposure to Mulvane that I recall was when I was eight or nine years old. I remember coming up to my father’s office or lab after school and hanging out with the students. I got to see human skeletons and students dissecting cats. I have experienced Mulvane for about 56 years. I think one of the coolest things of the renovation and addition are the student study areas that are being built in. This will be a magnet for students across campus. My family is deeply honored to have my father’s name on the building; for me it is extremely emotional.