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Nathan Cox, 10, is a fourth-grade pupil at Aukamm Elementary in Wiesbaden, Germany, and an aspiring naturalist.
Nathan Cox, 10, is a fourth-grade pupil at Aukamm Elementary in Wiesbaden, Germany, and an aspiring naturalist. (Matt Millham / S&S)

Name: Nathan CoxAge: 10Title: Aspiring naturalist(Day job: Fourth-grader at Aukamm Elementary School in Wiesbaden, Germany)

At 10 years old, most of us don’t know what we’d like to do tomorrow, never mind 10 years from now. And conviction? Is that a word you even know by fourth grade? Sure, if your parents let you watch “Law and Order.” Nathan Cox has a pretty good idea where he’s headed, and his beliefs are going to take him there.

So, you want to be a scientist? Well, pretty much, yeah. I’d like to go into something involving mathematics and science. I might go into being a naturalist, like a forest ranger.

What attracts you to that? I’m really into wildlife. I’d really like to preserve it for my children and my children’s children like my parents did.

What’s you’re favorite part of nature? I think it’s the wildlife that really interests me.

So you must have a favorite animal? My favorite animal would probably be a wolf.

Is that something you can keep as a pet? I mean, aren’t they kind of dangerous? Well, I’d like one, but they’re probably better off in the wild. When I was little I used to always wish I had a pet bear.

A bear? Now what the heck would you do with a bear? I would probably not have it living in the garage. That probably wouldn’t work out. I’d probably tag it and let it live wild in a wildlife preserve. Then I could track it and see it when I wanted.

As a naturalist, where would you work? Probably in a national park as a forest ranger. I haven’t been to any of the major parks that people have heard of as far as I remember. I’ve been to some of the minor ones.

Do people pay enough attention to taking care of the planet? Some people are really paying attention, but most people aren’t. Most people turn off a light once in a while and say ‘I’m conserving.’ But what they really need to do is turn off all the lights they’re not using and recycle. They should also preserve what we have. For example, people cut down trees to make land for farming, but they don’t have to do that. They can farm and still keep a lot of the trees if they’re healthy.

Do you have any role models? Steve Irwin was one of mine.

Was - he was killed by a stingray, right? Yeah. I found out right before I was going to school. At first I didn’t believe it, but when most of the major news sites reported it, then I believed it.

Do you want to be rich and famous like Irwin? No. I just really want to help. I think he did that too. He helped a lot of people learn about conservation.

Interview by Matt Millham.

Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Send the person’s name and contact information to: news@mail.estripes.osd.mil

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