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Wally Van Sickle


Wally Van Sickle, a wildlife biologist and conservationist, became deeply impressed by the importance of 'front lines' work being done by conservation biologists in developing nations, who lacked even the most basic research tools. From this inspiration and a passion for wildlife, Wally founded IDEA WILD in 1991, to equip, empower, and activate the world's most promising environmental leaders to grow and strengthen the movement to conserve the planet's biodiversity. Since its founding 28 years ago, the organization has provided equipment to over 6000 individuals in 140 countries. Wally will present life lessons that led to the creation of the organization and demonstrate the large and lasting impacts equipment grants can provide to conservation biologists conducting conservation research and education projects around the world.

Walter "Wally" Van Sickle, M.S., President / Founder of IDEA WILD

Wally Van Sickle received a Bachelor of Science degree from South Dakota State University in 1985 and a Master of Science degree from the University of Wyoming in 1990; both degrees are in zoology. Since that time, Wally has conducted wildlife research for the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center, Mariah Environmental Consulting Firm, Great Plains Wildlife Institute, the Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center, and most recently the USDA Forest Service. Wally founded IDEA WILD in late 1991, inspired by volunteer work experience with wildlife researchers and conservation educators in Africa, Latin America, and Australia. Wally’s extensive travel and contacts throughout the developing world have enabled IDEA WILD to remain in close contact with the specific needs of conservation projects in those regions of high biodiversity. Twenty eight years of experience in every aspect of running IDEA WILD continue to benefit the cause. Through the work of IDEA WILD, 6000 conservation projects have been made possible in over 140 countries around the world to minimize the loss of biodiversity.