Take a journey of your own with Jeff Corwin during "Tales
from the Field" at Governors State University at 2 p.m. Oct. 17.
Through video highlights of his explorations, personal tales and
special animal guests, Corwin talks about the challenges animals
face. Tickets, $32-$39, $19-$26 kids 16 and under, are available by
calling (708) 235-2222 or visit centertickets.net.
Jeff Corwin has dedicated his life to traveling the world
in search of animals. But Corwin, the host of Animal Planet's
"Corwin's Quest" and the upcoming Food Network show, "Extreme
Cuisine," is more than just an environmental conservationist,
television host and author (he has a children's book series, The
Junior Explorers, and an adult book, 100 Heartbeats, out later this
month). He's a dad.
Corwin talked with Chicago Parent about his projects, today's
kids and how he juggles life on the road away from his wife,
Natasha, and two daughters, Maya Rose, 6, and Marina, 1, for 10
months of the year.
Chicago Parent: What do you want today's kids
Jeff Corwin: I want kids to be connected to
nature. To me, there is nothing more exciting and unpredictable
than the truly exciting, unpredictable world of nature. There are
so many life lessons that can be gleaned from exploring and
CP: You spend a lot of time on the road. How do
you balance your love of animals with love for your family?
JC: Being on the road isn't easy and you have
to make the most out of time. For me, I try very hard to bring my
kids into the field and be a pro-active parent. ... I think
it's important that I give them everything I have, but a lot
of the work I do, I do it not only because I love nature and I love
exploration, but I do it because as a conservation biologist, I
want to make sure they inherit a world that is as biologically rich
and healthy as the one I have.
CP: What do you find to be the most joyful part
of life with your daughters?
JC: My job as a parent is to give them the
tools to survive, just like an animal parent would do, to survive
tough times and to deal with obstacles and to get over those
obstacles and to deal with jeopardy and survive jeopardy. … You
invest in your kids, and to see that pay off is, to me,
CP: Has their dad's love of snakes rubbed off
JC: My oldest daughter loves turtles. I think
the youngest one, what she loves is measured in whether she can eat
it or not. She's become an incredible bug hunter in our house and
she walks around on all fours and, God help any wayward millipede
or ladybug or whatever; she sees it, she'll grab it.
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