Schools Saving Species? Grassroots Science, Economics, and Education as Drivers of Carnivore Conservation


Dr. Luke Dollar, Catawba College Professor and National Geographic Explorer, will recount his journey of more than two decades in fieldwork, conservation, and education in Africa and the United States. The son of two teachers, Dollar grew up in the 1970’s and 80’s in the rural South with loves of both the classroom and the outdoors, and is happiest when both come together.   

Dollar's scientific research focuses on predators ranging from big cats to Madagascar's largest carnivore, the fosa, and satellite analyses of their habitat.  More than half of his overall efforts, however, are concentrated on grassroots education and sustainable employment programs for local people sharing space with Africa's predators. Dollar's efforts have not only yielded a trove of data on carnivore biology and behavior, but his programs have led to the development of scholastic and sustainable business programs benefiting thousands of local subsistence farmers and their children.  He served as program director for National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative from 2009 to 2017 and is currently Bashore Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Environment & Sustainability at Catawba College and Adjunct Professor at Duke University. 

Dollar’s speech is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in Room 300 of the Center for the Environment. The presentation is free and open to the public but registration is required.

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