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"Keystone" - A Tale of Human Nature


Keystone tells a tale of human nature to save wildlife in the world of Oraea where the speciae - the spiritual essence of the planet's diversity of life - are given special reverence. Rampant energy development from Hamilton Industries on the physical manifestations of the speciae, known as the keystones, threatens the world's biodiversity. A group of students confront the challenges inherent in the work of this energy giant while a diverse cast of characters acts in their own ways to celebrate and protect wildlife and the natural world. 


The project behind the novel Keystone is to create an intentional biodiversity-themed fantasy novel for a young adult audience that entertains, fuels the mind, and engages the spirit. The tale of the planet’s biodiversity is the most epic fantasy ever imagined, and we can connect with a whole new generation to nature and the outdoors in a completely new, innovative way.


The plan is to launch a campaign and set of creative products from this website late in the summer of 2015. Along with crafting the novel, an extensive engagement portfolio including an educational compendium, online tools, social media, and a mobile game to accompany the book’s publication.


This project is being undertaken with the support of the National Wildlife Federation's Emerging Leaders Program.

The Author

Michael Gale is a conservationist and writer living in Washington, D.C with over a decade of work experience. His professional interests are primarily in the human dimensions of wildlife conservation, particularly in the intersection of creativity, technology, writing and communications, and nature and biodiversity conservation. Michael has worked in various communications and strategy roles for a number of conservation organizations in both the nonprofit and government sectors, including the National Geographic Society and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A Truman, Udall, and Mitchell Scholar, Michael has also been honored as a National Wildlife Federation Emerging Leader Fellow, Rising Land Ethic Leader (Aldo Leopold Foundation), and a graduate of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders. Michael is finishing his first book, “Keystone,” a biodiversity-themed fantasy novel for young adults.

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