Made up of a small group of passionate conservationists, PC exists to help secure a future for wildlife and ecosystems across the globe. 

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Emily Erhart

With my background in Wildlife Biology, working under J.L. David Smith and alongside other world renowned big cat biologists in both Thailand and Nepal, I have learned about the complex issues regarding tiger conservation, have conducted months of field work and have worked alongside Samantha, assisting her on studies regarding human-wildlife conflict.

Working to address pervasive and complex issues alongside a variety of interest groups in Nepal and Thailand formed the basis of my appreciation of communication and constructive dialogue in addressing the varying perspectives to local communities and different stakeholders.

Currently, I am working to produce a film about tiger conservation in Nepal in hopes to raise awareness, and explore the complexities of conserving this magnificent species.

Overall, I am extremely passionate about working with local communities, public outreach, conservation and understanding how humans and wildlife can coexist.

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Samantha Helle

I am classically trained wildlife-biologist with an interest in human-dimensions of wildlife conservation. I received my B.S. from the University of Minnesota in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation biology. Additionally, I have served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and environmental educator, teaching people of all ages and from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.

I have research experience working closely with Dr. J.L. David Smith and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) in Nepal performing independent research on human/wildlife conflict in rural communities around Chitwan National Park. Specifically, I explored how these communities managed and perceived tigers in areas of high conflict by conducting interviews and holding focus groups with villagers. It was during this research experience that I became interested in how gender plays a role in forest sustainability practices and wildlife conservation.

Currently, I have been accepted as a Masters Student at the University of Minnesota's Natural Resource Science and Management program. I intend to expand upon my previous human-dimensions research, by working with women in communities that are highly impacted by tiger depredation around Chitwan National Park (Nepal).

I have a deep desire to serve my community and promote scientific understanding a way that is both palatable to the general public and also serves our global ecosystem. I am passionate about promoting gender equity and the inclusion of underrepresented groups in natural resource management. I believe that solving the world’s conservation challenges will require the action and support of an informed and committed group of stakeholders that are not inhibited by factors such as socioeconomics or gender.

dave smith

For my entire career, I have focused on tiger research that addresses tiger conservation. Research topics include tiger behavior, ecology, movements and the genetic and demographic aspects of tiger metapopulation dynamics. I collaborate with spatial modelers, conservation geneticists and statisticians and use individual based modeling to better understand tiger behavior in response to geophysical, ecological and human factors.

My research is guided by a strong belief that conservation requires local participation and to that end, I have advised primarily Asian graduate students from tiger range countries or students interested in working in Asia. I also work closely with local communities to restore ecological services in landscapes where tigers live. In these efforts I work closely with government wildlife and forestry departments.

A primary field tool for this research is using satellite GPS collars. My field colleagues include both academics and field technicians working in Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and China, and, in working in the field with these colleagues, I have been fortunate to spend many months every year living in the forests of Asia. At this stage in my career my goal is to build the capacity of Asians to lead Asian conservation activities.

 

Recent publications

Luo, S.J., Y. Zhang, W.E. Johnson, L. Miao, P. Martelli, A. Antunes, J.L.D. Smith, S.J. O’Brien. 2014. Sympatric Asian felid phylogeography reveals a major Indochinese-Sundaic divergence. Molecular Ecology 23: 2072-2092.

Simcharoen, A., T. Savini, G.Gale, E. Roche, V. Chaimchome, and J.L.D. Smith. 2014. Ecological factors that influence sambar (Rusa unicolor) distribution and abundance in western Thailand: implications for tiger conservation. Raffles 62: 100-106.

Simcharoen, A., S. Simcharoen, S. Duangchantrasiri, S. Pakpien, G. Gale, T. Savini, J.L.D. Smith. 2014. Female tiger home range size and prey abundance: important management metrics. Oryx.

 
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Sagar Giri 

Sagar Giri is the government of Nepal's official wildlife photographer and cinematographer. Growing up in Chitwan district, Nepal, Sagar has spent his life around this biodiversity hotspot, learning how to identify wildlife and being fascinated by how beautiful the natural world is. Understanding the need for tigers, and the ecosystem services that Chitwan provides for local villages, Sagar wants to express how beautiful this landscape is through imagery to generate support.

He is passionate about sharing his photos and videos to help generate support for National Parks in Nepal, and worldwide. Educated in Australia, Sagar returned back to his beautiful home and has pursused his passion, he has some of the most iconic shots taken of tigers in Nepal and is an excellent tracker.