Dr. Laurie Marker Wins Two Major U.S. Awards for Cheetah Conservation Work

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Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund, will receive the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award and the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award at two ceremonies to be held in the U.S. in October. Although Dr. Marker is a Namibian resident, she will be traveling to the U.S. on a five-week speaking tour, which begins later this week.

Dr. Laurie Marker at CCF in Namibia

"These awards are a reflection of the quality of individuals and organizations that have supported myself and Cheetah Conservation Fund throughout my career. Without them, there would not be any contributions worth recognizing."

A trio of highly respected American institutions will recognize Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), during her upcoming speaking tour of the United States, which begins later this week. Dr. Marker will make a pair of presentations at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Annual Conference on Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19 to kick-off her Fall 2015 Tour. Engagements in La Jolla, California; London and Toronto, ON, Canada; Portland, Oregon; San Luis Obispo, California; Santa Rosa, California; San Francisco; Santa Cruz, California; Denver, Colorado; and New York City will follow, culminating with the annual Cheetah Conservation Fund Gala and CCF USA Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 22 and 23.

Dr. Marker will accept the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award from Montana State University and the American Computer Museum during a private ceremony in Bozeman, Montana, on Oct. 2. Named for the Harvard professor known as the “Father of Biodiversity,” the award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the preservation of biodiversity on Earth. Immediately following the awards dinner, Dr. Marker will join Dr. Wilson and other University honorees in leading a public forum where artificial intelligence and the future of humanity and biodiversity will be discussed, “Planet in Peril: The Future of Humanity.”

On Oct. 18, the Eleanor Roosevelt Center will confer the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Award on Dr. Marker at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York. The Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal Awards recognize individuals who make significant contributions to society in the arts, education, citizenship, philanthropy, community services and other humanitarian causes that reflect Mrs. Roosevelt’s ideals. Dr. Marker is being recognized for her body of work conserving the cheetah, encompassing her pioneering scientific research, model conservation programs and groundbreaking cooperative alliances. Past recipients include Hillary Rodham Clinton; Gloria Steinem; Christopher Reeve; Susan Sarandon; Richard Gere; Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; Jessye Norman; and Her Majesty, Queen Noor of Jordan.

“I am deeply appreciative to each of these institutions and very proud to accept the awards, as I believe they are a reflection of the quality of individuals and organizations that have supported myself and Cheetah Conservation Fund throughout my career,” said Dr. Marker. “Without them, there would not be any contributions worth recognizing.”

Last month, Dr. Marker was also named a nominee for the 2016 Indianapolis Prize, an award given bi-annually by the Indianapolis Zoo that is considered the highest accolade in species conservation. Dr. Marker was a finalist for this award in 2008 and in 2010. The winner of the 2016 Indianapolis Prize will be announced next spring.

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Susan Yannetti
Cheetah Conservation Fund
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