Monday, February 17, 2003

Zoo to honor top conservationist

The Cincinnati Enquirer

George Schaller, who has studied animals and protected wildlife for nearly 50 years, has been tapped for the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's 2003 Wildlife Conservation Award.

What: 2003 Barrows Lecture Series
When: 7:30 p.m. March 6, April 2, May 1, May 22
Where: Cintas Center, Xavier University
Tickets: $12; $43 for the series. Discounts for zoo members, volunteers and students. Available at Ticketmaster, 562-4949; Cintas Center, 745-3411, opt. #7; and Web site
Information: 559-7767
Previous winners of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden's Wildlife Conservation Award:
2002: Wangari Mathaai, founder of Kenya's Greenbelt Movement and one of Time magazine's top environmental leaders of the 20th century
2001: Peter Raven, one of the world's leading botanists, recognized by Time as a "Hero of the Planet"
2000: Laurie Marker, widely recognized cheetah expert, who established the Cheetah Conservation Fund; and Cathryn Hilker, internationally known champion of the cheetah who founded the zoo's Cat Ambassador program and directs the zoo's Angel Fund, which supports cheetah conservation
1999: Ted Turner, ardent conservationist, whose family founded the Turner Endangered Species Fund
1998: Richard Leakey, director of the Kenya Wildlife Service from 1989-1994, who overhauled Kenya's troubled park system
1997: Russ Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and former vice president for science at the World Wildlife Fund
1996: Birute Galdikas, anthropologist and the world's foremost authority of orangutans
1995: Roger Tory Peterson, a founder of the environmental movement in North America who made nature accessible to the public through Peterson Field Guides
1994: E.O. Wilson, often called the father of biodiversity, considered to be one of the world's greatest living scientists
1993: Jane Goodall, world's foremost authority on chimpanzees, who spent 25 years observing their behavior in the jungles of the Gombe Game Reserve in Africa.
Schaller, president of science and research at the Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, is world-renowned for extensive field work and conservation efforts.

Considered the greatest field biologist of the 20th century, he has been honored with the International Cosmos Prize (Japan) and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (United States).

His 15 books include The Year of the Gorilla, The Serengeti Lion, The Last Panda, Mountain Monarchs, Stone of Silence, Tibet's Hidden Wilderness and Wildlife of the Tibetan Steppe.

He will speak March 6 in the first of four events in this year's Barrows Conservation Lecture Series, sponsored and organized by the zoo. The series, now in its 10th year, was founded with a grant from the late Dr. Emil Barrows and his wife, Winnie. Barrows was a noted Cincinnati physician and surgeon and devotee of exotic cats, two of which he donated to the zoo.

Other speakers for the series are:

Michael Fay, a field scientist for the National Geographic Society and Wildlife Conservation Society, April 2.

Fay walked for 16 months covering 1,200 miles through central Africa to record in-depth the diversity of plants and animals in the forest with the hopes of conserving at least part of a rapidly disappearing wilderness.

His journey, now known as the Megatransect, documented flora and fauna on paper, film and video to demonstrate the importance of preserving the Congo forest.

His work has been featured in National Geographic magazines and television specials.

Dr. William Karesh, a veterinarian who developed and directs the International Field Veterinary Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society, May 1. The program provides veterinary assistance to conservation projects.

Author of the widely acclaimed Appointment at the Ends of the World - Memoirs of a Wildlife Veterinarian, he has been featured many times on television and radio. His true-life adventure stories are filled with tales of wildlife and people, culture and politics.

David Quammen, a Cincinnati resident and internationally recognized author, May 22.

Quammen questions whether wild populations of lions, crocodiles, tigers and bears will exist in 100 years. In his latest book, Monster of God, he explores the power and prowess of the largest predators on Earth.

Autographed books will be available at all lectures.

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