PROFILE: Kevin Browngoehl

Part of the Biodiversity Crisis Curriculum Collection.

A pediatrician by training and an outdoorsman by passion, Dr. Kevin Browngoehl has become a leading advocate for the protection of biodiversity. You may find him standing at the side of an elected official during a press conference, writing letters to his fellow physicians, speaking to a group of medical students about the rain forest, holding one of his young patients, or encouraging his or her parents to send empty medicine bottles to Congress to emphasize that many medicines come from nature. Says Browngoehl, "It is a natural extension of someone who is interested in health care and preventive health care to look at the big picture."

Kevin Browngoehl. Photo courtesy of Edward Goldstein.

Dr. Browngoehl's strong advocacy for preserving Earth's biodiversity stems in part from his experience with children suffering from leukemia. Not long ago, this illness was inevitably fatal. Today, more than seventy percent of children with leukemia are cured-in part due to treatment with a potent drug discovered in the rosy periwinkle plant, which is native to Madagascar. Concerned that weakening the Endangered Species Act (ESA) might result in the loss of many potential drugs, Browngoehl says, "If we continue down the pathway of a short-sighted policy to the ESA, then future generations will not be as fortunate."