The first time Jessica realized she had a passion for animals, she was 7. It was her elementary school’s annual science fair. Most young students were building volcanos, or planetary dioramas , but Jessica with all the pluck she could muster, went door to door to take a poll on animal testing. For hours after school every day she walked around with a tattered poster of a bunny and asked her neighbors to weigh in on animal testing. She didn’t win any science fair awards that year, but she did find her calling. Over the years she has honed her public speaking skills, with a degree in theatre arts, and continued to pursue her scientific interests, studying equine sciences. She kept her childhood enthusiasm but developed a talent for diplomacy that has allowed her to advocate for some of the most well respected wildlife organizations in the world, such as The Cheetah Conservation Fund (where she worked in the field with Margaret) Big Cat Rescue (where she was allowed to create for herself the first legislation and advocacy position they had ever had) and The Humane Society of the United States. Just to name a few. Now she has found the perfect way to combine her biologist’s mind and her advocate’s heart. She passionately believes The I.C.A.R.U.S Foundation will bridge the gap between many countries and unite people all over the globe to help create a better world for animals, which in turn creates a better planet for its human inhabitants and allows incredible growth both emotionally and economically, solving a great number of the problems we face today. Once The I.C.A.R.U.S. Foundation is complete, Jessica will be entering law school and will use the findings of The I.C.A.R.U.S. Foundation to change the system from within.
Jessica is currently working on I.C.A.R.U.S.’s 2017 summit (our 2016 summit was a rousing success which brought together people from across the globe to discuss animals in crisis on an international level) and is involved with with several international projects. They include working with contacts in Chile as they devolope a rescue and rehabilitation program for the endangered Chilean cougars, and with contacts in Mexico for reform of their wildlife laws. And, as always, she’s actively building our database of groups and countries willing to commit to a unified ideology of the standards that conservation entities need to embrace in order to protect and preserve wild, and captive wild populations of animals all over the world.
Born and raised in Central Virginia, Artemis Grey spent her formative years roaming the mountains of Appalachia, walking creeks, writing stories and immersing herself in nature. By the time she graduated high school, she knew that what she wanted more than anything else was to write, and stay outside, so she began working for a local estate, where she would eventually meet Jessie and begin a friendship that has spanned nearly a decade. For the next thirteen years Artemis was part of a staff which saw to the daily maintenance of twenty-five to thirty-five horses. Artemis experienced the gamut of the natural world, successful births, tragic accidents, gaping wounds, surgical procedures, and the end-of-life-care for dozens of animals. Artemis also helped maintain the estate’s six hundred acres, and its native wildlife. Ailing wildlife was taken to the Wildlife Center of Virginia. When possible those animals were returned to their habitat after treatment and rehabilitation. All the while, Artemis continued her wordsmithing, publishing several short stories and poems. Passionate about conservation and the welfare of all animals, Artemis jumped at the chance to first work with Jessie on articles regarding conservation issues, and now the I.C.A.R.U.S. Foundation.
Born in Central Virginia Rachel grew up running feral through the Appalachian mountains, spending as much time in the wilderness as possible. After a childhood spent observing nature, she set about attempting to capture the magic of it through photography so that she could share the beauty of the world around her with others, even those who might never have the chance to venture out into the forest themselves. With an incredible eye for detail and format, Rachel is able to convey the everyday magic of nature, imbuing her art with the very sole of the wild she loves so much.