Plenary Speakers

Plenary Speakers

The Pathways 2023 Team is thrilled to announce the following plenary speakers. Stay tuned for more speakers to come!

Mark Sturm outdoors headshot
Title of Talk: Working in Partnership with Bears as Emissaries for the Natural World, a Case Study of Brooks Camp, Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA
Mark Sturm

Superintendent, Katmai National Park

Biography: Mark Sturm, a career natural resource manager, is the superintendent at Katmai National Park and Preserve.

Prior to this position, since 2012, Sturm was the biological resource program manager for the National Park Service’s Intermountain Region, a position that includes oversight of a wide range of professional staff supporting natural resource work in more than 80 areas in the National Park System. His team’s work has included high profile wildlife projects involving bears, wolves, bison, elk and bighorn sheep; fisheries work on the Colorado River, habitat restoration; and even consideration of the implications of climate change on NPS trust resources.

His prior work – from 2008-2012 – included oversight of resource management at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona, a park with complex border security, cultural and natural resource, visitation and facility issues.

Sarah Parker Pauley headshot outdoors with dogs
Title of Talk: The Values War in Conservation: Change is a Coming—Are We Ready?
Sara Parker Pauley

Director, Missouri Department of Conservation

Biography: Sara Parker Pauley serves as the ninth director of the Missouri Department of Conservation since its formation in 1937. The Missouri Conservation Commission announced Pauley’s selection effective November 1, 2016.

A native of Columbia, Pauley received both her law degree and bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and did post-graduate studies in Australia as a Rotary Fellow. She previously served as director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources since 2010. She has worked as project manager for D.J. Case & Associates, a natural resources communications firm, and as a deputy director for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. She has been an instructor at the University of Missouri’s School of Natural Resources, teaching a course in natural resource policy and administration.

Pauley began her professional career as a Policy Analyst with the Missouri Department of Conservation from 1993–1996. Over the years, though her career path varied, it has never strayed far from her personal desire to be engaged in the stewardship of Missouri’s natural resources.

Tony Wasley headshot
Title of Talk: Conserving Individuals at the Expense of Populations: The irony of mutualism
Tony Wasley

Former Director, Nevada Department of Wildlife

Biography:  Tony Wasley has worked for the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) since 1997 and has been the Director since spring of 2013.

Currently, Tony is creating and leading an adaptive and innovative agency through political and social change while continuing to uphold the public’s trust and trying to make conservation more relevant in the state, that, according to the America’s Wildlife Value Survey, has changed more in the last 15 years than any other state.

Tony has served as President of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) and as the President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).

Tony presently chairs AFWA’s Education Outreach and Diversity Committee (EOD), WAFWA’s Sagebrush Executive Oversight Committee (EOC), and the North American Wetland Conservation Council (NAWCC).  He was a proud fellow in National Conservation Leadership Institute (NCLI), was a past chairman of the Pacific Flyway Councill, and past board member and chair for the of the Intermountain West Joint Venture management board.

Tony earned bachelor’s degrees in both Wildlife Management and Biological Sciences from CSU Chico and earned a master’s degree in Biological Sciences from Idaho State University where while on a National Science Foundation Research Assistantship he studied plant and animal interactions.

He started his career at NDOW as a GIS specialist and biodiversity coordinator for three years in the Habitat Division, spent 10 years as an area field biologist for the Game Division, ran the state’s deer program for four years, and has served as director under both democrat and republican Governors since 2013.

Alex Zimmermann headshot
Title of Talk: Why We Need Conflict Resolution for the Future of Biodiversity Conservation
Alexandra Zimmermann

Senior Research Fellow, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford

Biography:  Dr. Zimmermann specializes in human-wildlife conflict, in particular conflict analysis, mediation, policy and training. Her applied work concentrates mostly on community engagement and stakeholder dialogue, while her research focusses on quantitative and qualitative social research on livelihoods and the socio-cultural aspects of living near wildlife. She also works on policy and capacity building for conservation conflict mediation, particularly at national and intergovernmental levels.

Zimmermann is Chair of the IUCN SSC Human-Wildlife Conflict Task Force and Senior Advisor on Human-Wildlife Conflict at the Global Wildlife Program of the World Bank. She is a Member of the IUCN Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy (CEESP), the IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group, the Cat Specialist Group, IUCN SOS Technical Advisory Board, and the Conservation Advisory Board of Elephant Family. She was previously with Chester Zoo for 18 years, most recently as Head of Conservation Science, focusing on research & development, strategic partnerships, and monitoring and evaluation.

Based at WildCRU, she leads a partnership between Chester Zoo and WildCRU which comprises an interdisciplinary team of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers studying a range of human-wildlife interactions around the globe. Her work on human-wildlife conflict has included jaguars and pumas in Brazil and Venezuela, elephants in India and Indonesia, tigers in Nepal, bears in Bolivia, and fruit bats in Mauritius. She also designed and led five Darwin Initiative grants on human-wildlife conflict in India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Bolivia.

Zimmermann studied Zoology at Leeds University (BSc, 1997), Conservation Biology at the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology (MSc, 2000), carried out her doctorate in WildCRU, Oxford University (DPhil, 2014), and trained in nonprofit strategic management at Harvard Business School (2015), conflict negotiation at Harvard Law School (2017) and diplomatic negotiation at the United Nations (UNITAR, 2019).

Duan Biggs headshot
Title of Talk: Navigating Conflicts Over the Sustainable Use of Wildlife
Duan Biggs

Olajos Goslow Chair of Environmental Science and Policy, Northern Arizona University

Biography: Duan is the Olajos Goslow Chair of Environmental Science and Policy at Northern Arizona University. He focusses on developing partnerships between researchers and NGOs, governments, and the private sector that supports and informs conservation actions and policies for the complex challenges of today’s contested world. Duan is the founder of the Resilient Conservation. He was born in Namibia and grew up there and in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Duan has adjunct appointments at Griffith University in Australia, and Stellenbosch University in South Africa

Ashley dryer headshot
Title of Talk: Agencies Can Make New Friends but Keep the Old Through Wildlife Viewing
Ashley Dayer

Associate Professor, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech

Biography: Dr. Dayer is a conservation social scientist. Her research program focuses on understanding people’s and organization’s conservation behavior, especially related to bird conservation, private lands habitat conservation, human-wildlife conflict, endangered species management, and citizen science. As part of this research, she explores the role that policy tools and educational interventions can play in influencing behavior. Much of her current research is part of interdisciplinary (social and natural sciences) teams and focused on bridging the implementation gap between science and conservation.

Brought to you by:

Colorado State University Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources
Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Virginia Tech Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation