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Michelle Szydlowski The Colorado-based Katie Adamson Conservation Fund recently named Beacon College anthrozoologist Michelle Szydlowski chair of its board of directors.

Denver zookeeper Dave Johnson founded the organization in 2014. He named the fund for conservationist Katie Adams. An aspiring zookeeper, Adams was diagnosed with bone cancer during her first semester at Colorado State University. At age 25, she lost her cancer battle in 2014.

The fund’s mission is protecting wildlife globally and nurturing cultural compassion. It annually offers conservation educational events including guest lectures such animals as rhinos, cheetah, and bear.

Szydlowski has been active with the group since its inception, harkening back to the days its days as Team Nepalorado — a band of animal lovers, researchers, zookeepers, volunteers and others who annually traveled to Nepal “to build and maintain conservation relationships,” she said.

She first traveled with the group in 2012. She has four research trips to Nepal under her belt, including her seven-week visit in 2019 to work on her doctoral research and serve as a veterinary technician.

Katie Adamson Conservation Fund logo Moreover, in collaboration with the National Trust for Nature Conservation/Nepal, the group helped build Nepal’s first wildlife hospital.

When the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund established its board of directors last year Szydlowski served an inaugural board member. In January, the group asked her to serve as chair.

“This group takes a ‘relational’ approach to conservation (as opposed to a post-colonial one),” she said explaining her affinity for the group, “and supports conservation in numerous countries around the world.”

For more information, visit the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund.