Trailblazing Women in Conservation

Thursday, October 15, 2020 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre at Lake Matoaka

Hosted by the Institute for Integrative Conservation and Planet Women, this event will explore how the empowerment of women leads to stronger environmental conservation and will highlight the firsthand stories of revolutionary women who are charting a more inclusive path for future conservation leaders. This two-part event includes a screening of the National Geographic documentary Women of Impact: Changing the World followed by a panel discussion featuring trailblazing women in conservation.



There are two ways to participate in this event: 

  • An in-person, outdoor event at the Martha Wren Briggs Amphitheatre at Lake Matoaka for W&M students, faculty and staff
  • Live Zoom webinar 

Registration is required for both the in-person event and the Zoom webinar.

Panel Details:

The panel discussion features distinguished women conservationists who will discuss their personal conservation career paths, the challenges and opportunities they have encountered along the way, their work to transform the conservation field, and their hopeful advice for the next generation of conservation trailblazers. The panel will be moderated by Kristine Zeigler, an accomplished non-fiction writer, non-profit fundraising executive, and the CEO of Planet Women—a global environmental conservation, leadership, and equity organization. Panel speakers include:

  • Paulina Arroyo, leader in Rights-based Conservation and Equitable Sustainable Development and Program Officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Andes-Amazon Initiative, which has significantly contributed to the conservation of almost half of the Amazon biome.
  • Erin Spencer ‘14, Marine Ecologist, Science Communicator, National Geographic Explorer, and PhD candidate at Florida International University studying shark ecology and conservation.
  • Dr. Tara Stoinski, Primatologist and President, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, an organization dedicated to the conservation, protection, and study of gorillas and their habitats in Africa.
  • Christine Wilkinson, Conservation Biologist, National Geographic Explorer, PhD candidate at the University of California Berkeley studying human-wildlife interactions, and Co-founder of Black Mammalogists Week—an event dedicated to creating a network of Black mammologists, addressing systematic racism in the conservation field, and developing opportunities for Black and POC scholars in the conservation field.

The IIC is committed to making this an accessible event. Please contact Kathleen Fruncillo at [[kfruncillo]] with the subject “IIC Accommodations” to request accessibility needs for the event. This communication will be confidential.


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