Michael Dee always had an interest in reptiles. During his youth he spent a majority of his spare time in the hills of Orange County looking for herps. Unfortunately, those great areas have been destroyed to make way for malls and houses. Dee started working at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens shortly after his 19th birthday. Instead of reptiles, he worked with an extensive variety of mammals and birds. His work at the zoo allowed him to travel and be involved with a number of conservation programs. He retired from the zoo in 2008 as General Curator. He was a Board Member with HCI from our first year until 2017 when he lost his battle with cancer. In memory of Michael Dee we have created the Michael Dee Conservation Grant. Read about the grant in his honor here.
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Bruce Edley works for California State Parks, where he processes permits and does biological monitoring for six different parks, including one of California's largest state parks Anza Borrego Desert State Park. Bruce graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Biology. Bruce is also the California contact for the Horned Lizard Conservation Society, and has contributed to the research of California's endangered flat tailed horned lizard (Phyrnosoma mcallii). He has done conservation work in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
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Carder is originally from Texas, where summers spent along the Guadalupe River gave him an appreciation for all scaly and slithery critters. When not working as a producer in unscripted television, he spends every moment he can fishing, backpacking, and just generally enjoying the outdoors. Carder has always dreamed of working in natural history and wildlife television programming and creating content for HCI has been a major step in fulfilling that dream.
Chip Cochran is a PhD candidate in Dr. William K. Hayes lab at Loma Linda University where he is studying morphological, dietary, and venom composition differences among populations of southwestern speckled rattlesnakes (Crotalus pyrrhus). He received his BS from The University of Arizona in 2006 where he majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During his time at the University of Arizona he worked in Matt Goode’s lab primarily radio tracking Tiger rattlesnakes (C. tigris) for a project investigating the effects of golf courses on Tucson herpetofauna. His research interests include: reptile venom proteomics and evolution, conservation, and ecology. He is particularly interested in African herpetofauna and members of the genus Crotalus.
Herpetological Conservation International is a registered 501(c)3 public charity.
We are committed to organizational transparency and are a Gold Level participant of the charity monitoring organization Guidestar.
It is also our commitment to our members that the minimum amount of donations ever goes into organizational spending and as such our board members draw no salary or compensation from the organization.
At HCI, we are committed to ensuring that every dollar we spend benefits the species it was intended for.
Herpetological Conservation International (HCI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving imperiled reptile and amphibian species. Our methods include:
Anton Roberts has lived and worked in wildlife parks throughout Southern Africa his entire life. From safari guiding, game management, research projects, expeditions, law enforcement, filming facilitation, and much more, Anton keeps a busy Schedule. Anton's organization, The Wetlands Park Group, is committed to conservation through the various ventures they are involved in. "Environmental Education is key to getting the message across by explaining the broader picture." says Anton. His student camp, which can be seen at www.albizia.co.za is the model HCI is using for our Project Pondo base camp, with Anton's careful guidance. Additionally, Anton also owns and operates an amazing guest lodge (www.umkhumbilodge.co.za), where guests can experience the real Africa with all the comforts and amenities they could need. Umkhumbi Lodge specializes in film work, photographic tours, birding tours, safaris and herpetofauna tours. His staff at all of his sites are comprised of the local people, and the relationship he has built with the local communities and tribes is terrific. It's for these reasons and more than Anton is the official Project Pondo development planner and manager as well as our on the ground negotiator for the project.
Tyrone Ping has always been intrigued by snakes and reptiles from an early age, growing up in Kwa-Zulu Natal these were never in short supply, from the coastal forests to the Drakensberg mountains. During his late teens he began to explore outside the confines of Kwa Zulu Natal, further across South Africa. He joined HCI's Project Pondo team right from the get go and has been responsible for leading many of the exploratory missions to confirm the Pondo Dwarf Chameleon at potential land purchase sites. Few field herpers can come close to Tyrone's country wide experience finding Bradypodion, making his keen eye a huge asset to HCI's endeavors. Additionally his stunning photographic contributions have been used across the HCI site and on our social media page.
Luke Basulto is a journalist, science writer, and native of the Mojave Desert. He has worked with multiple government agencies and non-profit organizations including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and National Parks Conservation Association to name a few. In conjunction with biologists Luke has aided in the preservation of some iconic and threatened desert wildlife including the Mojave Desert Tortoise and Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard. The passion that Luke has for the fauna of his desert home led him to pursue a career in science writing. Luke is the editor and head author of HCI's members only Newsletter "The Shed".
Becca is an RN Infection Preventionist, a masters capstone curriculum designer, a registered nurse, and holds a Masters Degree in Nursing Science. Outside of the hospital she loves Chelonians of all shapes and sizes and is also an avid scuba diver, giving her an extra special fondness for sea turtles. Her medical expertise is an asset to HCI in our surveys, expeditions, and studies. Her hospital administration background and skills help HCI's policy and have also contributed to the procedural planning in both out programs and our membership systems. Rebecca has a passion for teaching, and education which has lead her to
spearhead many of our public outreach programs.
Having grown up in the Mojave Desert, Myke Clarkson spent his childhood chasing the various reptile species that inhabited the desert surrounding his Apple Valley, California home. His herpetological passion led him to a career as a wildlife filmmaker, a dream job, as it allowed him to expand his pursuit of seeing reptiles and amphibians in their native habitats to all regions of the globe. He has given presentations about the species he has encountered on
his travels at the International Herpetological Symposium and been an invited speaker at Herpetological societies across America. Rain forest ecology, sea snakes, rear fanged colubrids, and Southern African herpetofauna, are areas of particular interest to him.
Devon Massyn is a South African wildlife filmmaker and field researcher based in Los Angeles, California. He has shot, produced, and appeared on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and Animal Planet. Devon’s animal photos, travel stories, and zoological research has appeared in various international publications, including the African Journal of Herpetology. He has also assisted various research projects on South African wildlife. Whether he’s catching crocodiles along the Nile, Berg adders (Bitis atropos) in the Drakensburgs, or diving with tiger sharks in the Bahamas, Devon brings a passion for wildlife and a keen understanding of the natural world-- on camera and off. Devon especially enjoys studying chameleons, African vipers, and gecko species.