David Blanton

Serengeti Watch

[email protected]

+1 607-351-1120

706 Cayuga Heights Road

Ithaca, NY 14850 USA

Serengeti Watch is a project of the Earth Island Institute, which is its fiscal sponsor.

Serengeti Preservation Foundation

Meyasi Meshilieck Mollel, Director

Meyasi is a science educator, conservation activist, and Executive Director of SPF. His background in science includes an Advanced Diploma in Science and an Advanced Certificate of Education in physics, chemistry, and biology. Before coming to SPF, he was the Head of the Science Department at St. Jude School, supervising the department and all teachers. He was also Deputy Headmaster at a private school, supervising the Academic Committee. He is passionate about education and conservation. He is the Co-Founder of the Kilimanjaro Literacy Association and is involved in an African-wide literacy association, specializing in conservation literacy. He has received an IRA Developing Countries Grant for work on environmental education, a grant to attend and present at the Wild10 Conference in Salamanca Spain and attended a Management and Leadership Program at the Danish Centre.

Amy Pallangyo, Advisor

Amy Pallangyo, serves as an educational and advocacy advisor to Serengeti Preservation Foundation.  She is a US citizen, living permanently in Tanzania, with her husband and children.  She was the lead advisor to the Tanzanian Ministry of Education and Vocational Studies and Tanzanian Education Institute for development of Tanzania’s national primary curriculum, and has implemented and supported education programs in countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan, Lebanon, Nepal, Mozambique, and Haiti. She is currently the Senior Technical Advisor at World Learning, an international development non-profit, where she works with their Global Education division, to promote educational quality in developing contexts, design programs, and evaluate program models.  In addition, she is co-owner of a family tourism company in Tanzania, focused on sustainable conservation-conscious wildlife tourism.

She supported efforts to envision and found SPF, and works with the organization to create teacher conservation training and classroom materials, and to develop various SPF community conservation projects. Her combined experience with program development and evaluation, community education initiatives, and conservation, along with her sustained commitment to the future of Tanzania, makes her an invaluable advising asset to Serengeti Preservation Foundation.

Serengeti Watch Directors

David Blanton

David has been traveling to East Africa for the past forty years. He lived in East Africa for seven years, five years in Kenya and two in Uganda, where he was a Peace Corps volunteer. He is the author of a social studies program sponsored by the Swiss government for Utalii College in Nairobi, Kenya.  In 1983, he founded Voyagers International, a tour company specializing in worldwide nature tours. Clients included leading museums, universities, and conservation organizations in the US. Voyagers merged with a larger company after twenty-five years. In 1995, he founded a nonprofit conservation organization for the Galapagos Islands (www.igtoa.org) bringing leading tour companies and NGOs together to promote responsible tourism and fund conservation work. He remained the director for ten years and produced and directed a series films on the Galapagos Islands. In 2010, he founded Serengeti Watch, a project of the Earth Island Institute, a US nonprofit conservation organization. He is also the founder of Friends of Serengeti (www.friendsofserengeti.org), a conservation organization for tour operators.

Boyd Norton

Boyd Norton is the author/photographer of 17 books, ranging in topics from African elephants to mountain gorillas, from Siberia’s Lake Baikal to the Serengeti ecosystem. A recent book, Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning won praise from Jane Goodall, Richard Engel of NBC News, Ed Begley Jr. His newest book is Conservation Photography Handbook: How to Save the World One Photo at a Time, with a Foreword by Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. Boyd is the Recipient of the Sierra Club’s 2015 Ansel Adams award for Conservation Photography. In 2010 Outdoor Photography Magazine in Great Britain listed him as “One of the 40 most influential nature photographers from around the globe.” Boyd has been traveling to and documenting the Serengeti ecosystem for over 30 years. He has served on the Board of Trustees for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, devoted to saving the last mountain gorillas. He wrote and photographed the book, The Mountain Gorilla (Voyageur Press, 1990) with a Foreword by Betty White.  He is a Founder and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and a Founder and Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers.

Serengeti Watch Advisors

Amy Haak

Amy is the founder and Executive Director of Conservation Geography, a non-profit company based in Boise, Idaho, that provides science-based analytical support to conservation organizations.  She has over 30 years of professional experience in the application of geospatial technologies to conservation concerns such as climate change, natural resource development, and biodiversity.  Her work has been used by local, regional, and national conservation organizations for a variety of purposes including education, advocacy and legal claims.  She has provided expert testimony on numerous occasions.

From 2006 – 2016 she managed the geospatial program within Trout Unlimited’s national science program.  Working as a conservation scientist, she developed innovative analytical approaches to the assessment of native trout species nationwide with a particular emphasis on climate change impacts.  Her methods and results were presented at numerous professional conferences as well as published in peer reviewed journals.  She was also a founding partner and principal for 12 years of Spatial Dynamics, a for-profit consulting business specializing in the application of geospatial technologies to natural resource modeling, watershed assessment, land use planning and demographic analysis.

She has a BA in geography from Dartmouth College and an MS and PhD in geography with a minor in conservation biology from the University of Idaho.  Amy currently serves on the board of Advocates for the West, a non-profit public interest law firm.  She has previously served on the boards of Idaho Rivers United, Idaho Conservation League and the advisory board to the College of Science at the University of Idaho.

Tira Shubart

Tira has more than 30 experience as an award winning television producer and journalism trainer producing news stories in 50 countries across four continents for BBC News & documentaries,  Frontline Television News, Christian Science TV, CBC News, NBC and ABC News.   Her work includes extensive journalism experience in Africa, Europe and the Middle East as well as conflict coverage in the Balkans, Somalia, the Iraq-Iran War, the 1991 and 2003 Iraq Wars.  I also write comedy including ’Taking the Flak’  series for BBC filmed in Tanzania and broadcast in the UK and sold worldwide.

Her media training includes:

Designs & delivers training for Television, Social Media & Radio UK, Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, South Africa), Middle East (Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar), Former Soviet Union ( Estonia & Azerbaijan), Europe (Montenegro), BBC News & College of Journalism, BBC Media Action, Al Jazeera.

2012-2015 Designed & delivered extensive television training programme for launch of BBC World Focus on Africa TV and BBC Swahili (Dira ya Dunia) & BBC Somali.  2005-2016 Training in Tanzania, Kenya & Somalia for radio & television, BBC Media Action (Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Hargeisa). Editorial Consultant & Trainer KTN News (Nairobi), Designed TV & Radio debate programme for Kenya Elections ‘Sema Kenya’ (Nairobi).  2010 & 2005 Election Training for Tanzania TV & Radio (Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Morogoro).