Mark Laxer: vEcotourism Founder & Director, Vermont USA.
Author, storyteller, and chief technology officer at a software corporation, Mark Laxer invented virtual ecotourism (vEcotourism). This interactive, real-time educational system is described in his recently published book, The Monkey Bible: a modern allegory. Mark is also president and co-founder of Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund. He is passionate about using storytelling to teach wildlife conservation to people around the world. Mark studied English and American Literature, and computer science, at the University of California, San Diego. Send him mail at mark (at) vecotourism (dot) org.
Ian Redmond is a wildlife biologist and conservationist, renowned for his work with great apes and elephants. As with his mentor, the late Dr Dian Fossey, the focus of his work shifted in 1978 from research to conservation work, after poachers killed Digit – a famous young silverback – to sell his skull and hands. He established and chairs The Ape Alliance, served as Ambassador for the UN Year of the Gorilla 2009, and was awarded an OBE for services to conservation in 2006.
Jay Ploss brings a B.Sc. in Environment from McGill University and previous careers in event management and desktop publishing to his role as lead Unity developer and project manager of the vEcotourism project. Jay’s primary focus is exploring how 3D virtual worlds can be used to both connect people emotionally with distant places as well as explore ideas and concepts in ways that would be impossible in “meatspace”. Jay also explores the potential of low-cost full-spherical panoramic photography to bring real world imagery into his virtual creations. Reach him at jay (at) vecotourism (dot) org.
Matt Redmond studied Physical Geography and Computer Science at Keele University. He is currently fascinated by the possibilities of emerging web technologies and how they can further environmental education. His other interests include bicycles, travel, linux and juggling. He can be reached at matt (at) vecotourism (dot) org.
- Team Uganda -
Jackson is a Fisheries and Aquatic Scientist/Lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences, Makerere University. He is interested in examining the effects of human activities; particularly deforestation, over-fishing and climate change on the fisheries resources in natural water bodies and in the development of sustainable management strategies for these resources. He coordinates the vEcotourism activities in Uganda and has been instrumental in linking the project with local institutions and organizations as well as on-the-ground testing of new technologies in collaboration with the North American vEcotourism team.
Mark Olokotum holds a BSc in Fisheries and Aquaculture from Makerere University, Uganda. Currently, he is a research assistant at the National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI), as well an vEcotourism assistant for Jackson Efitre. He is currently studying for an MSc in Fisheries Science, Conservation and Management, and is working on the recovery of the once lost haplochromine cichlids of Lake Victoria. He is passionate about biodiversity conservation, and in the future he would love to be a nature journalist.
- Project Advisors -
Dr. Lauren Chapman is a nature conservationist and project coordinator for the Kibale Health & Conservation Project. Her research focuses on aquatic ecology and conservation and involves field studies based at the Makerere University Biological Field Station and Fisheries Resources Research Institute in Uganda. Lauren holds a Canada Research Chair in Respiratory Ecology and Aquatic Conservation, and is a lecturer at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and Mackere University in Kampala, Uganda.
Dr. Colin Chapman received his joint Ph.D. in the Departments of Anthropology and Zoology at the University of Alberta. He spent 2 years at McGill and 3 years at Harvard University doing post-doctoral research. Since 1990 he has served as an Honourary lecturer in the Department of Zoology at Makerere University Uganda; and, since 1995, he has been an associate scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Colin also served as a faculty member in Zoology at the University of Florida for 11 years, and returned to McGill in 2004 to take up a professorship in the Department of Anthropology and McGill School of Environment, where he holds a Canada Research Chair Tier 1 position in Primate Ecology and Conservation and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is also a project coordinator for the Kibale Health & Conservation Project near Kibale National Park, Uganda.
- Volunteers -
Now working with the London Olympics, our former Outreach Coordinator Lucy Erickson is a recent graduate of the MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at the University of Oxford. She is passionate about conservation and science education.