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Dr. George Schaller, known as one of the founding fathers of wildlife conservation, is Vice President Emeritus at Panthera. Born in Germany in 1933, Dr. Schaller received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alaska and completed his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. In 1956, Dr. Schaller joined other conservationists on the Murie expedition to Northeastern Alaska, which resulted in the establishment of the world’s largest wildlife preserve, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
From 1962 to 1963, he served as a Fellow within Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences before working as a Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Pathobiology from 1963-1966. Dr. Schaller went on to work for the New York Zoological Society as a Research Associate and Zoologist from 1966 to 1979, after which he joined the Wildlife Conservation Society as Director of Wildlife Conservation International.
Dr. Schaller has also worked as a Research Associate for the American Museum of Natural History and taught as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Rockefeller University, Shanghai’s East China Normal University and Beijing’s Peking University.
Spending most of his time in the field in Asia, Africa, and South America, he has led seminal studies on, and helped protect, some of the planet’s most endangered and iconic animals ranging from the mountain gorilla in present Democratic Republic of the Congo, snow leopards in Mongolia, jaguars in Brazil, giant pandas in China, tigers in India, lions in Tanzania, wild sheep and goats of the Himalaya. These animals have been the basis for his scientific and popular writings, including 16 books, among them The Year of the Gorilla, The Serengeti Lion, The Last Panda, and Tibet’s Hidden Wilderness.
In collaboration with Chinese and Tibetan scientists, Dr. Schaller has worked for nearly two decades studying and developing conservation initiatives for the snow leopard, Tibetan antelope, and wild yak, among other species. His most recent conservation projects have been based in Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, Iran and Tajikistan. Over the years, he has accrued a variety of international wildlife conservation awards, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Japan’s International Cosmos Prize, the China Environmental Prize, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Geographic Society’s Adventure magazine and the North American Nature Photography Association and the Indianapolis Animal Conservation Prize.
Dr. Schaller joined Panthera as Vice President in 2008, and continues to serve as a Senior Conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.