The U.S. Department of the Interior seeks experts and leaders in wildlife and habitat conservation technology to advise the Secretary of the Interior as part of the newly formed Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize Advisory Council.
The council, established under the 2019 John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, will act as a catalyst for technological innovation to advance wildlife and habitat conservation. It will focus on endangered species protection, invasive species management, poaching and wildlife trafficking prevention, and nonlethal solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, according to a press release from the department.
“We are looking for leaders and highly experienced professionals who can help guide our efforts to more fully incorporate innovation into conservation,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Aurelia Skipwith. “This council will do more than just award prizes for innovation, its members will serve as guides to competition winners, helping mentor them and chaperone their ideas towards their full potential.”
The council will administer $500,000 in prizes and advise competition winners on opportunities to pilot and implement their nascent technologies, helping them develop partnerships with conservation organizations, federal or state agencies, federally recognized tribes, private entities and research institutions with relevant expertise or interest. The Federal Advisory Committee Act will govern the council.
Interior Secretary David Bernhardt will appoint 12 to 18 members who have expertise in one or more of the following areas: biology, economics, engineering, endangered species, invasive species, technology development, business development and management, international wildlife trafficking and trade, wildlife conservation and management, nonlethal wildlife management, social aspects of human-wildlife conflict management, or any other discipline that Bernhardt determines to be necessary to achieve the purposes of the council.