Ruth MacKay-Shea was born in rural Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada and moved to Massachusetts where she attended high school and college. The lure of  the west enticed her to move to San Francisco soon after college. She recently concluded a long career at San Francisco State University as the Human Resources Manager in the College of Science & Engineering.

She has a life long curiosity about the world and has traveled widely; most noteworthy was a round-the-world adventure for a year in the mid 90’s.   One of the many high points in this journey included her first African experience with visits to game parks in Kenya and Tanzania. This sparked a passionate interest in wildlife and their rightful place on our planet. A recent trip in 2014 to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, observing the magnificent African animals wild and free in their natural habitat, was transformative.

Ruth is deeply concerned about the status of endangered species, their conservation and the environmental impact of their future loss. All life forms are inextricably linked and the loss of just one species often negatively alters an entire ecosystem for both wildlife and human populations. A world without rhinoceros, elephants, cheetahs, tigers and all the others is tragic to contemplate. Project Thorn came along at a perfect time in her life and answers a call to engage

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