WHO WE ARE

Rodney Jackson
Rodney close-upDr. Rodney Jackson is the leading expert on wild snow leopards and their high-mountain habitat. SLC has grown out of Rodney’s thirty years’ experience gained in working closely with rural herders and farmers whose lives are directly impacted when snow leopards prey upon their livestock.Upon receiving a 1981 Rolex Award for Enterprise, Rodney launched a pioneering radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the remote mountains of the Nepalese Himalaya. The four-year study led to the cover story in the June 1986 National Geographic. In addition, the June, 2008 issue of National Geographic featured Rodney’s work with the Snow Leopard Conservancy India.

He has been a finalist for the Indianapolis Prize in 2008, 2010, and 2012- the first to be nominated three times consecutively. The Indianapolis Prize is the world’s largest individual monetary award for animal conservation.
Rodney prepared the snow leopard section of the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Cats, which serves as a definitive document on the needs and opportunities for preservation of the earth’s remaining wild cats. He currently sits on the IUCN’s Cat Specialist Core Group, and served from 2003 until 2008 on the Snow Leopard Network Steering Committee.Rodney led the standardization of snow leopard field survey methods across the twelve snow leopard host countries, the Snow Leopard Information Management System (SLIMS). Working with partner agencies, he trained biologists in these methods in nature reserves in China, Pakistan, Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. SLIMS has since been superceded by advancements in technology for surveying snow leopard populations.Rodney’s publications include a comprehensive handbook on surveying snow leopard populations using camera traps published in 2006. You will find it on our site. The document represents the detailed results of over four years of systematic field research conducted in the harsh geographical and climatic conditions of the Himalaya and other parts of Central Asia. The handbook has been translated into Chinese and Russian. In addition, Rodney co-authored two papers on genetics; one published inAnimal Conservation in October 2008, (Read an abstract here) (or here), and another published in theJournal of Mammalogy in August 2011 (Read an abstract here).Rodney has written or co-written chapters in books including “Snow Leopards: Conflict and Conservation,” in Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids (Professor D. Macdonald and A. Loveridge, editors), Oxford University Press, UK 2010; “Snow leopards: is reintroduction the best option?” in The Reintroduction of Top-Order Predators, M. W. Hayward, and M. J. Somers, editors. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.2009; and “Ghost Cat of the Himals”, in: Himalaya: Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge and Hope. Edited by R.C. Blum, E. Stone and B. Coburn. National Geographic Society and American Himalayan Foundation. Washington DC., 2006.Rodney also wrote the section on snow leopards and clouded leopards for the New Encyclopedia of Mammals, published by Oxford University Press, 2001; the Proceedings of the 8th International Snow Leopard Symposium, co-edited with A. Ahmad and published in 1997 by the International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle and WWF-Pakistan; “Cats Up Close: Snow Leopards”, in Great Cats: Majestic Creatures of the Wild, Rodale Press, 1991; and popular articles for International Wildlife, Animal Kingdom, and Geo (France and Germany).
To read more about Dr. Jackson click here
Kurt Zimmerman
Kurt ZimmermanKurt Zimmerman is the Conservancy’s Director of Operations & Finance. Kurt hails from Southern California, where he served as a Regional Manager for the NGO California Trout. Earlier in his career, Kurt was: a federal prosecutor with the United States Dept. of Justice’s Environmental Enforcement Section in Washington, D.C.; an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles, whose practice focused on the enforcement of environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act; a Natural Resources Attorney with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration; an outside counsel for a dozen “Fortune 500″ corporations; and the Mayor of Sierra Madre, CA. Kurt is a graduate of Stanford University (BA,MA) and the UCLA School of Law (JD).  Kurt says, “It’s a great honor to be working with local communities to protect the magnificent snow leopard and conserve its remote habitat.”
Darla Hillard
Darla HillardDarla serves as the Snow Leopard Conservancy’s Education, Administration and Development Director. She was fundraiser and logistical organizer for Rodney’s original Nepal radio-tracking study, bringing more than a decade of administrative experience to the role. She co-wrote the June 1986 National Geographic article, followed by the book, Vanishing Tracks: Four Years Among the Snow Leopards of Nepal. She works with the Conservancy’s in-country staff and partners, focusing on rural school children in the snow leopard countries, and providing teacher-training and tools for teaching about the mountain web of life and the issues surrounding protection of snow leopards and their habitat. “On the Trail of Wild Snow Leopards,” one of two articles Darla has written for the widely-read Highlights for Children, was chosen Science Feature of 1994. She has also written for Summit magazine, Travelers’ Tales: San Francisco, and Bay Nature magazine.
Joyce Robinson
Joyce RobinsonJoyce Robinson retired in 2003 from a 30-year career with Bank of America. She joined the Conservancy in 2004 as a volunteer, scanning and entering data on our camera-trapped snow leopards. She now serves as office assistant, devoting one or two days per week to bookkeeping, electronic communications, GIS and other program tasks, working primarily from her home office, and covering the headquarters office while Rod and Darla are in the field.