Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, will visit Skidmore College in October to discuss science, policy and wildlife conservation during her lecture, "The Policy Environment" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11 in Gannett Auditorium.
Clark, as the Robert O. Carr distinguished interdisciplinary lecturer at the College this fall, is a leading national expert on the Endangered Species Act and imperiled wildlife. She will explore the intersection between environmental science and public policy, and provide insight into current issues as well as career opportunities in the field.
The College's Carr residency provides students and faculty with opportunities to interact with influential leaders and professionals, including policy makers, government officials, and business leaders, who are on the cutting edge of social issues, non-profit and public-service innovations, and social responsibility initiatives.
A graduate of Towson University, where she earned a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, Clark earned an M.S. degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Maryland.
Known for her lifelong commitment to wildlife and conservation, Clark chose a career in wildlife biology early in life. In her college years, she released peregrine falcons into the wild as part of a successful recovery effort-so successful, in fact, that 20 years later, as director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, she had the honor of removing them from the list of endangered species.
Clark joined the Defenders of Wildlife in 2004, after a 20-year career in conservation with the federal government, mostly with the Fish and Wildlife Service, where she served as director from 1997 to 2001. During her tenure, Clark oversaw the establishment of 27 new refuges, the addition of over two million acres to the National Wildlife Refuge System and presided over the recovery of key endangered species, such as the Bald Eagle, the Gray Wolf and the Aleutian Canada goose.
Clark also worked for the adoption of a number of innovative policies to encourage landowners to voluntarily conserve wildlife, including the establishment of the Safe Harbor Program and an expanded Candidate Conservation Program. Under her leadership, the service secured the passage of the landmark National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997 which established wildlife conservation as the primary purpose of all wildlife refuges.
"The Policy Environment" on Thursday is free and open to the public. There will be a reception to follow the lecture.