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Central Arkansas Master Naturalists
Written by Darcia Routh   

CAMN mourns the loss of our member, Nao Ueda, who died July 29, 2014 from self-inflicted wounds.  Many of you know her from CAMN or from many of her other local nature and environmental stewardship initiatives, including (but not limited to) public outreach, advocacy, and citizen science through Audubon AR, Ozark Society, Native Plant Society, AR Earth Day Foundation, GreenARbythe day (blog), UALR Bowen school of law, and AR Master Naturalists. Nao came to the U.S. when she was only 16 from her native Japan; she did not know English. She learned English by immersion in the New Orleans public school system. Nao attended Georgetown University for three years before transferring to UALR as an undergraduate student. She transferred to UALR, and  graduated with a degree in International Studies in 2010.  She was a third year law student at the Bowen School of Law at the time of her death. She was a member of the 4th CAMN NiT class in 2009. Nao had a passion for all things GREEN, and is well known throughout AR for her tireless work on sustainability, local food, and environmental issues. In law school, she earned the Top Paper in Animal Law, Legal Profession, Water Law, Commercial Paper, and Natural Resource Law."Nao was a highly respected, extraordinarily gifted student at the Bowen School of Law," said Bowen Dean Michael Schwartz. "Her peers regarded her as a brilliant person, but it was her dedication to the community and to social justice that set her apart. Her passing is a great loss to all of us, and she will be missed. Our thoughts and support go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time."Dr. Erin Finzer, assistant professor of International and Second Language Studies and mentor to Nao, said she was well known in the community for her work with Arkansas Sustainability Network, for her urban homestead in downtown Little Rock, and for her blog, Green AR by the Day.Nao leaves behind her husband of 6 years, a large contingent of friends, several beloved cats, laying hens, honey bees, and her informed, infectious passion for the earth. A service to celebrate the life and mourn the passing of Nao Ueda will be held at 3:00 PM on Saturday, August 2, 2014, at the Dunbar Garden in Little Rock (1800 S. Chester St.). Come as you are: dress is casual, but you may dress more formally. There will be some seating in the garden, but bring a folding chair if you need to sit.  Please bring any pictures of Nao, and help spread the word to friends that you know were close to her. Native flowers are preferred.If you would like to make a gift in her honor, here is a list of some of her natural causesArkansas Audubon SocietyAudubon ArkansasArkansas Local Food NetworkArkansas Mycological SocietyXerces Society
Arkansas Native Plant Society
Ozark Society
Arkansas Sierra Club
Central AR Master Naturalists

Author of this article: Darcia Routh

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