Quench and Connect
Copyright © 2010 Quench and Connect
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The mission of her group is to expand the awareness of children in the U.S., and other nations, of the importance of their surrounding Nature, to introduce children to the plants and animals that live nearby, and to partner with conservation biologists to ensure that the local wildlife diversity is maintained.
Trained in Biochemistry at the University of California Berkeley, Nanz worked as an endocrinology biologist in the Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) at the San Diego Zoo. In her long and productive career, she received research grants to study gorillas, cheetahs, elephants, peccaries, giant pandas and rhinoceros at international study sites including Rwanda, China, Zimbabwe, Paraguay, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The results of her work have been published in peer-reviewed reproductive endocrinology journals, and in 1997 she was awarded the Senior Biology and Conservation Award from the American Society of Primatologists.
Of particular note, she has ‘walked’ with mountain gorillas in Rwanda and developed non-invasive methods to study hormone levels to evaluate reproductive changes with these gorillas. She also played a key role in teaching Chinese animal biologists about monitoring reproduction of the endangered giant pandas. She worked with the Chinese government at the Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve sharing her knowledge about panda reproduction. The techniques developed were critical for the panda births at the San Diego Zoo.
Nanz has been a reviewer for numerous scientific journals as well as for more widely known organizations such as the L.S.B. Leaky Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society. She serves on the boards of several community organizations.
Nanz Zekela, B.A.
Nanz Zekala is the Founder and Director of the Papoose Conservation Wildlife Foundation (www.papoosewildlife.org), a non-profit organization that aims to connect children and ‘nature’.