Dr. Dan and Elizabeth Turk
Dan works with the FJKM environment department to help people improve their lives while living more in harmony with the creation. With per capita income less than $250 per year, many Malagasy people have difficulty feeding their families. Less than 25 percent of the country's native forests remain today, the majority having been converted to grasslands. The cutting of native trees for fuel wood and to clear fields for agriculture continues to threaten the island's unique animals and the more than 8,000 plants found only in Madagascar. FJKM has responded by helping people plant trees for fuel wood and construction wood, by promoting environmental awareness in primary schools and rural communities, and by encouraging more intensive agriculture through growing fruit trees and off-season crops. Dan is especially involved in efforts to plant fruit trees and native trees.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Dan graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He earned a master of science in agronomy and soil science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. in forestry from North Carolina State University. His doctoral research focused on the growth rates of over sixty native Malagasy trees. Dan spent two years as a consultant in agro forestry to the Ranomafana National Park project in Madagascar. He is the author of "A Guide to Trees of Ranomafana National Park."
Starting out in Anniston, Alabama, Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She later earned a bachelor of science in nursing from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion and a master's degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Elizabeth served as a Presbyterian volunteer in Haiti, Zaire, and Madagascar. Before going to Madagascar, she was a health education intern at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta and worked as a pediatric nurse in Orlando, Florida.
Dan and Elizabeth are members of West Raleigh Presbyterian Church in North Carolina. They have a son, Robert, and a daughter, Frances.
Dan - February 14
Elizabeth - May 24
Robert - February 7, 1996
Frances - January 9, 1999
For more information about the Turks please visit http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/missionconnections/turk-daniel-and-elizabeth/