From groundbreaking work to halt the illegal wildlife trade, to a life’s work of supporting conservation efforts in developing countries, and a local conservation hero teaching generations how to be stewards of Iowa’s rivers; conservation comes in many forms. The 2016 Blank Park Zoo Speaker Series inspired us!
Ian Chase Nichols
Ian Chase Nichols is an emerging figure in the field of photography and conservation with vast expertise in capturing images of the world’s rarest and most elusive wildlife. His quiet work behind the camera is instantly recognizable, and his photos have appeared in a variety of venues, including National Geographic and many others. Upon graduation from the University of Virginia in 2005, Ian studied chimps at a research site in Congo, where he spent four years photographing undocumented tool use. In 2007, Ian photographed lowland gorillas in Congo on assignment for National Geographic magazine. Ian has also spent time working for the Smithsonian Institution in Gabon, Africa.
Wally Van Sickle
Wally Van Sickle, wildlife biologist and conservationist, became deeply impressed by the importance of ‘front lines’ work being done by biologists in developing nations, who lacked even the most basic tools. From this inspiration, Wally founded IDEA WILD in 1991 to minimize a worldwide loss of biodiversity by empowering the people doing this important work. This organization preserves the world’s greatest ecological treasures and has aided over 4,500 projects in 115 countries.
James Pease, Ph.D.
Jim has inspired an appreciation for Iowa’s wildlife and wild places for over four decades. After teaching for twenty-four years, he is now retired, has emeritus status in the Natural Resource Ecology and Management Department at Iowa State University and is active in speaking, writing, consulting, and leading international wildlife trips. He helped design and conduct the Master River Stewards Program for Iowa Rivers Revival and has paddled 1400 miles of Iowa’s rivers conducting surveys for the Iowa Water Trails program.