Advisory board

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DAVID WESTERN Advisory Board Chair
Chairman of the African Conservation Centre in Nairobi, David Western began research into savanna ecosystems at Amboseli in 1967, looking at the interactions of humans and wildlife. His work has served as a barometer of change in the savannas and a model of conservation solutions for the coexistence of people and wildlife.

Western is former director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s international programs, established Kenya’s Wildlife Planning Unit, chaired the African Elephant and Rhino Specialist Group, was founding president of The International Ecotourism Society, chairman of the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, director of Kenya Wildlife Service and founder of the African Conservation Centre in Nairobi. He is also a former adjunct professor in Biology at the University of California, San Diego.

Western’s publications include Conservation for the Twenty-first Century, In the Dust of Kilimanjaro, and Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-based Conservation.  He served on a government task force redrafting environmental legislation in line with the new Constitution of Kenya 2010, is chief editor of Kenya’s Natural Capital: A Biodiversity Atlas and has a forthcoming book titled One Planet: An Exploration of Our Past and Future. He is presently directing conservation and research projects under the African Conservation Center. Western received the World Ecology Award for 2010 and the 2012 Life-time Achievement Award for Ecotourism.  

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Douglas Chadwick is an American wildlife biologist, author, photographer and frequent National Geographic contributor. He is the author of fourteen books and more than 200 articles on wildlife and wild places. Other publications which have featured his work include: Audubon, The Huffington Post, Backpacker, TV Guide, The Smithsonian Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Reader's Digest, and Outside.

Chadwick is a past officer and current member of the board of The Vital Ground Foundation, and a director of the Gobi Bear Fund, which attempts to restore the world’s most endangered population of grizzly bears.

Chadwick graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, with a B.S. in Zoology. He then earned an M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana, Missoula. After graduating, he worked as a research wildlife biologist studying mountain goats and grizzly bears in northwestern Montana.

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William Conway is an American zoologist and conservation biologist who began his career as a curator with the St. Louis Zoo. He served the New York Zoological Society for 43 years, expanded and rebuilt much of the Bronx Zoo, included the city zoos of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn and effected the Society’s major evolution from New York Zoological Society to Wildlife Conservation Society, creating an international conservation program working in more than 50 nations. He retired as president in 1999.

Conway has expanded the programs of WCS globally and contributed to the development of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association writing both its Accreditation and Species Survival Program and working to focus the Association on the extinction crisis. Conway seeks to catalyze the creation of parks and wildlife protection, especially overseas, and has served on the boards of many wildlife organizations. He has authored more than 250 articles and reports relating to wildlife conservation, endangered species propagation and ornithology and traveled widely promoting wildlife conservation.

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William deBuys is an award-winning writer and conservationist, eight of whose nine books concern the land and culture of the North American Southwest.

From 1982 to 1986 he directed the North Carolina Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and from the late 1980s through the 1990s he represented The Conservation Fund in the Southwest. His efforts have led to the permanent protection of over 150,000 acres of wild lands in North Carolina and the Southwest.

From 1997 to 2004 he developed and directed the Valle Grande Grass Bank, a cooperative effort involving ranchers, conservationists, and public agencies in the rehabilitation of rangelands in northern New Mexico. From 2001 to 2004, under appointment by President William Clinton, he served as founding chairman of the Valles Caldera Trust, which administers the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve under an experimental approach to the management of public lands.

DeBuys earned an MA and PhD in American Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin. He was named a Lyndhurst Fellow for 1986-1988, a Carl and Florence King Fellow at SMU in 1999-2000, and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008-2009.


Ullas Karanth is a conservation scientist and a leading expert on tigers based in Karnataka, India. He obtained his master’s degree from the University of Florida and PhD from Mangalore University, India.

Karanth has worked extensively on tiger and prey ecology, published over 130 scientific papers and several books including The Way of the Tiger (2001), A View from the Machan (2006), Science of Saving Tigers 2010) and Science and Conservation of Wildlife Populations (2017). His focal areas of interest are carnivore ecology, analysis of wildlife populations, and conservation policy. He has also coauthored and edited or co-edited five scientific books in English and three books on conservation in Kannada and other Indian languages.

Karanth is the former country program director in India for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). He is also the founder and Emeritus trustee of the Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS), an Indian NGO based in Bangalore, India. He has served as board member of WWF-India and has been a Vice President of the Bombay Natural History Society. He has also served on India's National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Governing Council of the Wildlife Institute of India.

Karanth was elected a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences in 2008.  He was awarded the Sierra Club’s International EarthCare award in 2006, J. Paul Getty Award of WWF in 2007, and the Salim Ali Award for lifetime achievement from Bombay Natural History Society in 2009. He won the Karnataka Government’s State Award, Rajya Prashashi, in 2011 and the National Honor Padmashree from the President of India in 2012.


Grant Parker has a long history of non-profit, natural resource and charitable work.  He has been involved in protecting hundreds of thousands of acres through various land acquisition and conservation easement projects.  Parker has served as General Counsel to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (“RMEF”) since 1996.

Parker serves on several non-profit Boards including the Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation Advisory Board, the Cinnabar Foundation, the Upper Pergatoire Foundation, and as an Emeritus Trustee of the Teller Wildlife Refuge.   He is a native of Montana and received B.A. and B.S. degrees from Williams College and a J.D. from the University of Washington. He is licensed to practice law in Montana and Washington.