Aug 11, 2021
The study of wildlife has a history full of adventures in remote corners of the Earth, discoveries of remarkable behaviors, and achievements in conservation. George Schaller is a pioneer of the field, with seven decades of work spanning from the Arctic to the Tropics. George was born in Germany in 1933 and immigrated to the United States as a teenager. He received a BS degree from the University of Alaska in 1955 and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1962. He then held positions at Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University before working as a research associate for the Rockefeller University and New York Zoological Society’s Institute for Research in Animal Behavior, beginning in 1966. This program evolved into the Center for Field Biology and Conservation, where George worked as the Coordinator. Beginning in 1979, George directed the New York Zoological Society’s International Conservation Program. George’s many awards reflect his impacts on the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems around the world. These awards include the National Geographic Society Lifetime Achievement Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the World Wildlife Fund Gold Medal, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and many others. He is also known for his many books on wildlife, including The Mountain Gorilla – Ecology and Behavior, published in 1963, The Year of the Gorilla published in 1964, The Tiger: Its Life in the Wild published in 1969, and The Serengeti Lion: A study of Predator-Prey Relations, published in 1972, for which he received the U.S. National Book Award in Science.