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The 2010 Indianapolis Prize Winner


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph​​.D., Save the Elephants

​Relentless in his lifelong devotion to the elephant survival, "Save the Elephants" founder Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., received the 2010 Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation. In recognition for his lifetime achievements, Dr. Douglas-Hamilton received $100,000 and the Lilly Medal at a gala ceremony presented by Cummins Inc. on September 25, 2010, at The Westin Hotel in Indianapolis. [more ...]

The colorful career of Iain Douglas-Hamilton has included being squashed by a rhino, targeted by poachers, and poked by elephants' tusks. He has suffered malaria, hepatitis and other diseases so exotic most people have never even heard of them – not to mention the plane crashes he has survived. He has persevered through severe droughts and a flood so powerful it washed away years of research. So why does he endure all this? One reason – to save elephants.

 

Four decades ago, Douglas-Hamilton pioneered the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behavior that has set the standard for every study to follow. He led emergency anti-poaching efforts in Uganda to bring the elephant population there from the very brink of extinction. He has testified before Congress on behalf of his beloved elephants multiple times, leading to the African elephant bill, to date the most successful funding program for the species.​

His pioneering elephant tracking Global Positioning System (GPS), widely emulated in Africa and Asia, has become a model survey technique. He recently partnered with Google Earth to show elephant movement in real time via satellite images. In September 2009, Douglas-Hamilton worked to rescue a rare herd of desert elephants in northern Kenya and Mali, threatened from one of the worst droughts in nearly a dozen years. In the spring of 2010, a devastating flood destroyed the Save the Elephants camp in Kenya including staff tents, computers and years of field research notes.

 "The plight of the African elephant is intensely personal to Iain. He has studied, named and nurtured thousands of African elephants for generations, and it is this intimate understanding of and love for these magnificent mammals that drives Iain's forceful efforts to secure a future for endangered African elephants," said Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo. "Iain truly epitomizes what it means to be a hero."

Born in Dorset, England, Douglas-Hamilton attended Gordonstoun School in Scotland and received his bachelor's degree and doctorate from the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. He currently works and resides in Nairobi, Kenya.

To learn more about the work of Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Save the Elephants, click here[close]

 

The 2010 Indianapolis Prize Finalists

The Indianapolis Prize is pleased to recognize the 2010 finalists for their outstanding work to protect and conserve the endangered animals of our planet. 

Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D., National Autonomous University of Mexico

Ceballos, a native of Toluca, Mexico, was nominated for his tireless devotion to designing conservation strategies for endangered species and threatened ecosystems, work which has begun to redefine global conservation priorities. He was a key proponent of Mexico's first Act for Endangered Species that now protects more than 4,000 species. As a leading professor in ecology and conservation at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Ceballos is currently coordinating the first jaguar census in a complete country in the world, the conservation of the largest prairie dog complex on Earth, and the creation of a half million hectare grassland reserve. [close]

​Rodney Jackson, Ph.D., Snow Leopard Conservancy


A San Francisco Bay Area resident and founder-director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, Jackson was nominated for his groundbreaking radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the 1980's and his subsequent dedication to building the capacity of indigenous herders and farmers as key players in conserving the species. Jackson's grassroots approach to research, conservation, and education is helping to transform this magnificent big cat from a potential livestock predator to an economic asset throughout much of its 12-country range. [close]


​Laurie Marker, Ph.D., Cheetah Conservation Fund


A California native and founder/executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Marker was nominated for leading a conservation program from humble beginnings in rural Namibia to an unparalleled model for predator conservation. Marker's 35 years of genetic, biomedical, reproductive and behavioral research has produced an integrated approach to both captive and wild cheetah conservation programs to ensure the survival of these magnificent big cats. [close]


Carl Safina, Ph.D., Blue Ocean Institute, (now known as The Safina Center) 

​ A lifelong New Yorker and founder/president of Blue Ocean Institute, now known as The Safina Center, in East Norwich, N.Y., has been nominated for bringing ocean conservation into the environmental mainstream. Noting the steady declines in fish populations, Safina became a voice for the conservation and restoration of life in the sea. His award-winning books include Song for the Blue Ocean, Eye of the Albatross, and Voyage of the Turtle. Currently, Safina is finishing a new book and developing a TV series on conservation success. [close]​​​​​​​ ​​​


Amanda Vincent, Ph.D., Project Seahorse​ 

Vincent was nominated for putting seahorses on the global conservation agenda. She was the first person to study seahorses underwater, discover the extensive commercial trade in these delicate creatures, and initiate the Project Seahorse conservation plan. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Marin Conservation at the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre and is considered the leading authority on seahorse biology and conservation. Vincent has mobilized a wide array of partners and, with them, made active gains in seahorse and marine conservation, from initiating protected areas to regulating international trade in seahorses. Vincent was born in Vancouver, Canada, and has lived in other parts of Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia. ​​[Close]​

 
The 2010 Indinapolis Prize Nominees

The Nominees for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize included conservationists representing a wide range of scientific and educational programs involving animals from every corner of the globe. 

In alphabetical order:  [more]


Gerardo Ceballos Ph.D.: (Instituto de Ecologia, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) Leader in designing conservation strategies for endangered species and threatened ecosystems; conducted the first geographically explicit analysis of patterns of population and species extinction in a major taxonomic group (mammals).

Nigel Collar, Ph.D.: (BirdLife International) Researched and compiled a unique and comprehensive dataset on globally threatened bird species that was published in groundbreaking regional Red Data Books worldwide.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D.: (Save the Elephants) Founded Save the Elephants; devotes his life to the cause of elephant conservation – from testifying before Congress to leading anti-poaching aid programs in Africa.

Karen Eckert, Ph.D.: (WIDECAST: Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network) Dedicated to research, multilateral marine resource management and international conservation policy of sea turtles for more than three decades.

Ruth Elsey, M.D.: (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries) Fostered programs to enhance the survivability and sustainability of the American alligator, in addition to parallel efforts for other crocodilians.

George Fenwick, Ph.D.: (American Bird Conservancy) Founded American Bird Conservatory; dedicated to creating and sustaining globally significant biodiversity reserves, tackling policy-based threats to birds and generating funding resources for the biodiversity community.

Rodney Fox: (Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions/Fox Shark Research Foundation) Miracle survivor of one of the world's worst shark attacks; regarded as a world authority on Great White Shark research, observation and conservation.

Birute Mary Galdikas, Ph.D.: (Orangutan Foundation International) More than 35 years of advancing research on wild orangutan ecology and behavior; established rehabilitation and release programs and saved millions of acres of tropical rain forest in Kalimantan.

Paul Garber, Ph.D.: (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) More than 30 years of dedication and commitment to research, conservation and educational programs involving the monkeys of Latin America.

Jack Hanna: (Columbus Zoo and Aquarium) For more than 30 years, has been the public face of zoos, bringing the conservation message to millions of people worldwide; passionately dedicated to Rwanda's endangered animals and its people.

Maurice Hornocker, Ph.D.: (Selway Institute; Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho) Devoted his career to understanding the ecological role of wild cats and advocating for the conservation of large carnivores, including the first-ever field investigation of cougars.

Rick Hudson: (Fort Worth Zoo; International Iguana Foundation; IUCN Turtle Survival Alliance) Dedicated advocate for reptile conservation, including groundbreaking work with the Jamaican iguana and the coordination of the largest turtle rescue event in history.

Lisa Hywood: (Tikki Hywood Trust) Worked tirelessly to preserve Zimbabwe's wildlife – including captive breeding, management and monitored release of endangered species and conservation education in under-privileged, rural areas.

Rodney Jackson, Ph.D.: (Snow Leopard Conservancy) Conducted an in-depth radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the 1980s; dedicated to building local communities' capacity as key players in conserving the species. Finalist for the 2008 Indianapolis Prize.

Jana Johnson, M.S., Ph.D.: (Moorpark College, The Butterfly Project) Founded The Butterfly Project, a center for endangered butterfly propagation and research; helped the Palos Verdes blue butterfly population, once presumed extinct, grow from 200 to 10,000 in three years.  Click here to see a wonderful story about Dr. Johnson's work with endangered butterflies from CBS News.

James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D.: (National Wild Turkey Federation) Devoted leader in wild turkey research, scientific wildlife management and forging cooperative conservation partnerships to grow the wild turkey population from 1.3 million to 7 million in less than 30 years.

Thomas Kunz, Ph.D.: (Boston University) For more than 50 years, has significantly and instrumentally contributed to the conservation and teaching of bat ecology, physiology and behavior.

Amanda Lollar (Bat World Sanctuary) Established Bat World Sanctuary, the largest rehabilitation facility in the world dedicated exclusively to bats; created the first nutritionally sound diet for debilitated bats.

Edward Louis Jr., Ph.D., D.V.M.: (Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo) Tireless conservation advocate of island biogeography, including the discovery of 30 percent of known lemurs to date.

Laurie Marker, Ph.D.: (Cheetah Conservation Fund) Founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund; led a conservation program from humble beginnings in rural Namibia to an unparalleled model for predator conservation. Finalist for the 2008 Indianapolis Prize.

Stephen McCulloch: (Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution) Created legislation to fund several ongoing marine mammal research and conservation programs while working to construct the first teaching marine mammal hospital, science and education center.

Rodrigo Medellin, Ph.D.: (University of Mexico) Galvanized bat research throughout Latin America by using a multipronged approach including research, education, population biology, molecular ecology and community involvement.

Gregory Rasmussen: (Painted Dog Conservation) Diligent advocate of the critically endangered African wild dogs; founder of the Painted Dog Conservation, which strives to increase the range and numbers of wild dogs in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa.

Patrick Redig, Ph.D., D.V.M.: (The Raptor Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota) Dedicated more than 35 years to protecting raptor populations through extensive field work, bench research, clinical work, professional teaching and community service.

Lente Lidia Roode: (Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre) Established the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, a nonprofit organization that provides a safe haven for orphaned and sick animals, complete with an education center, rescue unit and breeding program.

Patrick Rose: (Save the Manatee Club) Worked to help educate opponents, build coalitions and focus on specific protection goals for manatees, including protecting the manatee's habitat and advocating for strong growth management laws.

Carl Safina, Ph.D.: (Blue Ocean Institute) Brought ocean conservation into the environmental mainstream by using science, art and literature to inspire "sea ethic."

Simon Stuart, Ph.D.: (IUCN-World Conservation Union) Developed the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, which assesses the extinction risk for species. Finalist for the 2006 Indianapolis Prize.​

Amanda Vincent, Ph.D.: (The University of British Columbia) First person to study seahorses underwater, document extensive trade and initiate a seahorse conservation project, Project Seahorse.

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