Lucas was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by nature and the encouragement of his parents to always be outside. Those early experiences with the natural world helped cultivate his appreciation and passion for the outdoors. After graduating with a degree in biology and marine science from Jacksonville University, he is now the Conservation Program Officer for the Okapi Conservation Project (OCP) and Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG). He coordinates all marketing and development efforts for OCP, including grant writing, social media, and brainstorming new and exciting ways to bring awareness to the reclusive okapi, including the launch of the inaugural World Okapi Day. For JZG, he reviews all grant proposals and field conservation awards that filter through the zoo’s quickly growing conservation department. He is developing the conservation messaging within the zoo and directing zoo events to be more conservation-focused. His volunteer work has included six years of sea turtle conservation in Florida, including a summer in Costa Rica with the Sea Turtle Conservancy.