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Laura Williams

I grew up in Colorado riding horses and loving the Rocky Mountains. As a child, I loved animals and nature and, at an early age, decided that I was going to apply myself to conserving our planet - the only one we have. At 23, after having decided to focus my efforts on international environmental issues between the world's superpowers - Russia and the US - I moved to Moscow to open the first office of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). I have lived in Russia ever since - moving from Moscow to Kamchatka and settling in a remote nature reserve near the border with Ukraine, working on conservation initiatives and sharing wilderness encounters with my husband, Russian wildlife photographer Igor Shpilenok. In 2008, I published a memoir on life in my remote Russian village called "The Storks' Nest: Life and Love in the Russian Countryside."

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