A SWITZER NETWORK LEADERSHIP STORY

Conservation scientist Robert Long awarded Wilburforce Fellowship

Posted by Lauren Hertel on Wednesday, March 4 2015

Fellows: 

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on the Woodland Park Zoo's blog. Robert is a senior conservation fellow at the zoo.

Dr. Robert Long, Woodland Park Zoo’s first senior conservation fellow, has been recognized among the first group of 20 scientists awarded  the newly established Wilburforce Fellowship in Conservation Science, announced recently by the Wilburforce Foundation and COMPASS.

The overarching goal of the Wilburforce Fellowship program is to build a community of conservation science leaders who excel in using science to help achieve durable conservation solutions in western North America.

The Wilburforce Fellowship program provides skills development and sustained mentorship to help spark transformative, lasting change in how scientists approach their work. By bringing together scientists from across a broad spectrum of career stages, disciplines, geographies, and affiliations, the Wilburforce Fellowship will break down the silos that are often barriers to collaboration and collective action.

Long and his 19 counterparts were selected from a competitive field of applicants from the U.S. and Canada. All of the fellows have impressive credentials as conservation scientists, as well as leadership qualities and personal commitment to pursue research relevant to conserving the natural world. Their work spans topics from landscape scale conservation in the face of climate change, to solutions for at-risk species like wolverines, grizzlies, California condors, caribou and jaguars.

As a carnivore research ecologist in the northeastern and northwestern U.S., Long is highly respected for spearheading innovations in non-invasive wildlife research methods, an approach he has honed for the last 13 years. Long’s research is currently focused on wolverine conservation in Washington state, developing a Northwest camera trap network and helping to expand the zoo's Living Northwest conservation program.

“I feel really fortunate to be a part of this first cohort of fellows,” says Long. “Wilburforce and COMPASS have always strongly supported the integration of science and conservation, and this is just another example of their long-term commitment to these fields.”

“The work of Wilburforce Foundation is science-driven,” says Amanda Stanley, Wilburforce Conservation Science Program Officer and Fellowship co-leader. “We have a strong commitment to making the idea of ‘decisions informed by the best available science’ more than just a catchphrase. This Fellowship will empower scientists with the skills they need to connect with decision makers and engage in ways that shape the policy debate.”

Each fellow will set a goal for individual or collective engagement on a specific conservation issue, and a team of trainers and mentors will help them use their new skills to work toward their goal over the year.

Fellows will be guided by a team of trainers from COMPASS and the England-based Barefoot-Thinking Company, who specialize in strategic action planning and leadership training. They also will engage with science and environmental journalists, including David Malakoff, Deputy News Editor, Science; science journalist and National Geographic contributor Michelle Nijhuis; and Jeff Burnside, investigative reporter for the ABC-affiliate KOMO 4 News in Seattle and President of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Fellows will begin their initial training April 19-24, 2015 at Wilburforce’s Greenfire Campus in Seattle.

Additional Resources: 

Add comment

Log in to post comments

Spotlight on Leadership

Making Alleys a Place for Play (Not Old Couches)
After six years of research and community organizing, 2005 Fellow Tori Kjer and her colleagues have won strong support from the community for their Avalon Green Alley Network Plan in South Los Angeles, and the renovation of two alleys is scheduled to begin early next year.Read more >
Noa Lincoln
Today the image of that Kona field system lives vividly in the imagination of Noa Kekuewa Lincoln. On a late afternoon at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona, Lincoln is striding among the forty-four different cultivars of ko that he helped replant the year before. The planting was done in the traditional Kona drylands style, with kuaiwi on one side of the ko and rows of kalo on the other. Lincoln pauses beside a particularly vibrant clump of cane that has green-andwhite- striped leaves and stalks with stripes of pink, white and pale green. It’s called laukona, he says.Read more >

A vibrant community of environmental leaders