“A zoo is a place that combines the idea of preserving the environment and the role that humans play in that preservation,” says Dr. Amy Harrison-Levine, Director of Field Conservation Programs at Denver Zoo. I interviewed her earlier this year as we engaged in a partnership between Denver Zoo and Palm Done Right. This collaboration has shaped over our shared mission to encourage people to change their behaviors and make different choices to protect wildlife.
A little over 21 years ago, Dr. Amy Harrison-Levine started working for Denver Zoo. After working in educational roles for 10 years she got recruited into a field conservation team, which perfectly matched with her Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology. “The good thing about conservation is that education is an integral part of the equation. To inspire people around the world to take action and change behavior has tremendous impact on the environment,” says Amy.
Amy now oversees a variety of Denver Zoo’s field conservation programs, but her personal story is mostly tied to the Zoo’s conservation work in Vietnam, to preserve a critically endangered primate called the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey. This primate is threatened by hunting and habitat loss due to local communities’ forest harvesting to collect timber for cooking and construction.