Andy Lee FES ’19 and Kimi Zamuda FES ’19 won the 2018 MK McCarthy-RW Worth Scholarship for Leadership in Conservation Science, the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies announced in early January.
According to the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ website, the scholarship, established in 2015 by Margaret McCarthy ’82 and her husband Robert Worth, is a $2500 award provided to benefit master’s students who have completed a minimum of two semesters at the school and have demonstrated leadership in the field of conservation biology and wildlife conservation.
Since graduating from the University of Hong Kong, Lee has worked on various conservation-related research projects, which included collecting data on Chinese crested terns for the BirdLife International breeding attraction program and gathering data for research on African elephants in South Africa. He has also co-authored a paper on the rhino horn auction market in China and participated in a shark fin trade study in Hong Kong.
Lee said he was incredibly honored by the award’s recognition.
“The award serves as a great reminder for me to actively take on the role of a leader in conservation, not only in the sense of contributing to better science and policy, but also in fostering more interests and collaborations within my professional network and among my peers,” he said. “The ability as a conservation leader to bridge and integrate talents and perspectives grows in importance in the coming future to solve increasingly complex environmental problems.’’
Lee said he hopes to continue his research on large carnivore conservation policy and wants to contribute to the effective conservation of “some of the most charismatic and threatened” mammals in Africa. He said that because his previous experiences in conservation were mostly related to academic research, his plan for the future is gaining practical experience by working with NGOs and other agencies.
At F&ES, Zamuda has studied the effects of land use on mesopredator mammals — predators located in the middle tier of the food chain. According to the F&ES website, she hopes her research will be applied to habitat conservation and management practices at the Yale Myers Forest and beyond.
Prior to coming to the school, she worked as a biological intern for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where she conducted nesting surveys on endangered species and monitored and trapped invasive species. She also conducted research as an intern with the U.S. Geological Survey.
“The field of conservation is often demoralizing — continual species decline, climate change, growing human population and many more,” Zamuda said. “I am passionate about what I do and want to make the most positive impact I can for our earth. So to be recognized for positively contributing to this field by mentors at the School of Forestry is a huge accomplishment for me.”
Zamuda said that she hopes to focus on “reintroduction of and coexistence of [humans and other animals] with large mammal predators, such as wolves.” She added that she believed it was important to “fundamentally change” how humans solve conservation challenges and said she plans to be “part of finding lasting solutions.”
The School of Forestry & Environmental Studies was founded in 1900.
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