International Conservation & Development Leadership Stories

When thousands of animals die during mass migrations, ecosystems accommodate the corpses and new cycles are set in motion. Fellow Amanda Subalusky and her colleagues have been studying the mass drownings of wildebeest in Kenya and their impact on the Mara River.Read more >
At the end of October, a room full of politicians, biologists, and conservationists in Australia erupted in applause. After five years of negotiations, 24 countries and the European Union unanimously agreed to create a marine protected area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Ross Sea, which is considered the most pristine marine ecosystem in the world. Fellow Cassandra Brooks has worked in the region on this project for years, but says the agreement comes with some important caveats.Read more >
Switzer Fellow and Colorado State University Professor Maria Fernández-Giménez has received the Order of the Polar Star from the government of Mongolia, the highest civilian honor the country presents to foreign nationals. Fernández-Giménez was selected due to her long-standing commitment to researching Mongolia’s extensive rangelands and how natural and human communities are adapting to ecological and economic change.Read more >
Dipti Vaghela is passionate about micro hydro. Vaghela’s organization, the Hydropower Empowerment Network, takes a country-by-country approach to rural electrification, helping micro hydro and other technologies take root in places where electricity is expensive and hard – or even impossible – to come by. Her goal? To bring electricity in a sustainable and participatory way to places that need it.Read more >
Like rainwater harvesters and solar panels, biodigesters generate power by reinvesting natural resources back into their own ecosystems. Because of their potential to reduce both waste and operating costs, it seems like every family farm should have one on hand. Fellow Alexander Eaton's company, Sistema Biobolsa, is working to create a base of users that leads to a tipping point.Read more >
A new study of market-based forest conservation schemes in Chile provides rare insight into the effectiveness of this relatively new approach to preventing deforestation. The schemes, known as non-state, market-driven (NSMD) governance regimes reduced deforestation on participating properties by between 2 and 23 percent, conclude Switzer Fellow Robert Heilmayr and Eric Lambin.Read more >
Fellow Jennifer O’Leary recently received a prestigious Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation and is freshly back on California's Central Coast from management and conservation work she’s doing in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean partially supported by a Switzer Leadership Grant.Read more >
When it comes to wildlife conservation a huge personality or bags of charisma tends to help your cause. But scientists are beginning to call for more attention to be paid to those that fail to make the list of nature’s big and beautiful.Read more >
To conservationist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, getting coastal communities involved in plans to protect their waters is critical for protecting the planet's oceans. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about her work in one Caribbean island and how it shows how such a strategy can get results.Read more >
What if you had to decide between feeding your family today and saving the environment for future generations? That's exactly the choice families along the stretch of river between Guatemala and Belize have to make. Switzer Fellow Dave Kramer of EcoLogic Development Fund is helping them find...Read more >

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