Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization, founded in 2014, that supports local efforts to protect a storied species and its rainforest ecosystem. Building upon the wisdom of Amazon traditions, practices and beliefs with findings from modern conservation biology, Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation works to preserve the river dolphin from the corrosive pressures of outside, usually foreign interests that threaten the survival of the dolphins and their world. The fates of dolphins and people have been entwined for millennia. Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation promotes healthy, natural interactions between dolphins and people that protect both animals and people, sustain local culture, and transform visitors to ardent Amazon conservationists.
Mission Statement: To conserve the Amazon river dolphin and its environment through research, education and collaboration.
ARDCF Founder/Executive Director
Suzanne has worked with marine mammals for over 30 years. She is originally from Boston, and spent her childhood on her dad’s boat gaining an appreciation and a deep respect for all marine life. Her career began at the world-renowned New England Aquarium where she was fortunate enough to gain experience with marine mammal strandings and training, dive teams, and the fishes departments.
After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology from Salem State University, she moved to the Southeast to work with dolphins, sea lions, and birds. From there, she moved onto facilities across the United States, as well as Peru. She has worked with numerous marine mammal, sea turtle, and bird species both under human care and in the wild. Her contributions to marine mammals have been featured on PBS, BBC, and SeaRescue.
Following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, Suzanne was assigned to coordinate strandings and rescues in the state of Louisiana for marine mammals and sea turtles. Additionally, Suzanne and her team were responsible for the dozens of dolphin necropsies as approved by governing federal agencies. Suzanne successfully rehabilitated Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and released hundreds of endangered sea turtles to the Gulf of Mexico. During this time, Suzanne co-authored several papers submitted to scientific journals. Her hard work was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice in appreciation of her contribution to Women in Science.
In 2014, Suzanne Smith founded the Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation (ARDCF). The foundation was established after exploring the Rio Negro region of Brazil and realizing there was a need for river dolphin conservation projects and education. ARDCF was established to provide resources and equipment for the study of the Amazon river dolphins.
Currently, she serves as the Executive Director of the Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation (ARDCF). Suzanne’s award-winning project with the Amazon river dolphins was presented at the 2015 and 2017 conferences of the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association. She has a passion for marine mammals and is a strong advocate for environmental conservation. With the continuing development of ARDCF, Suzanne is dedicated to increasing awareness of the plight of river dolphins and how to conserve this species.
Originally from Seattle, WA. Dr. Tim earned a B.Sc. in Biology with a minor in chemistry from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. After graduation he worked as a husbandry volunteer and researcher for two years at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium working with marine mammals, sea birds, fish and invertebrates. His research focused on characterizing individual vocal repertoires of beluga whales. He also worked as a camp counselor and wilderness guide in Maine and Washington state. He attended Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, WA and obtained a second B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology. While at WSU he was a grizzly bear and black bear keeper at the WSU bear research facility. He was accepted into the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine and earned his Doctor if Veterinary Medicine in 1995.
Dr. Tim is currently the Director of the Aquatic Animal Health Program at Oregon State University, an Extension Veterinarian with Oregon Sea Grant and an Assistant Professor of Aquatic Animal Health in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University. He also serves as an Instructor of aquatic animal health management in the Aquarium Science Program at Oregon Coast Community College.
Currently, Dr. Tim primarily focuses on medical and health management of fish, sharks and invertebrates in public aquaria, aquaculture operations, and fisheries. He has served as one of the consulting veterinarians at the Oregon Coast Aquarium (OCA) since 1995. Early in his tenure at OCA he was involved in the medical care of the marine mammals in the collection, including Keiko the killer whale, before shifting his focus to the collection’s fish, sharks and invertebrates. He also provides veterinary care for the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the Charleston Marine Life Center and the Aquarium Science Program Teaching Aquarium at Oregon Coast Community College.
Much of his recent work has been with the aquarium fish trade working with pet fish owners, retail shops and import /export facilities working with clients to treat individual species and improve overall health management. His work has taken him throughout North America and to Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. He co-leads an annual expedition to the Rio Negro in the Amazon Basin to work with local fishing communities involved in the sustainable aquarium fish trade. The goal of this project is to foster this sustainable fishery as a means of protecting the local rainforest and river ecosystems while providing a sustainable livelihood for the local communities.
Dr. Tim also enjoys teaching and mentoring students at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and the Aquarium Science Program at Oregon Coast Community College.
Dr. Miller-Morgan is a Certified Aquatic Veterinarian through the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association (WAVMA) and a Professional Fellow of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). He is a founding member of the American Association of Fish Veterinarians and the World Aquatic Veterinary Association, a member of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and former Vice-Chair of the Aquatic Veterinary Medicine Committee, a member of the Executive Board of Ornamental Fish International (the global trade organization for the aquarium pet industry) and a member of the Home Aquarium Fish Sub-group, Freshwater Fish Specialist Group at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Dr. Tim lives in Toledo, OR with his wife and son, a dog, 3 cats and a guinea pig. When not working he serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster with a local Scout troop and enjoys hiking, camping, travel and a good book.
Photo credit: Dianne Taylor Snow
To research books, films and articles, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba and handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana.
She has been deftly undressed by an orangutan in Borneo, hunted by a tiger in India, and swum with piranhas, electric eels and dolphins in the Amazon. She has searched the Altai Mountains of Mongolia’s Gobi for snow leopards, hiked into the trackless cloud forest of Papua New Guinea to radiocollar tree kangaroos, and learned to SCUBA dive in order to commune with octopuses.
Sy’s 28 books for both adults and children have garnered many honors. The Soul of an Octopus was a 2015 Finalist for the National Book Awards. The Good Good Pig, her memoir of life with her pig, Christopher Hogwood, is an international bestseller. She is the winner of the 2009 New England Independent Booksellers Association Nonfiction Award, the 2010 Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award, the Henry Bergh Award for Nonfiction (given by the ASPCA for Humane Education) and dozens of other honors. Her work with the man-eating tigers, the subject of her book Spell Of The Tiger, was made into in a National Geographic television documentary she scripted and narrated. Also for National Geographic TV she developed and scripted Mother Bear Man, about her friend, Ben Kilham, who raises and releases orphaned bear cubs, which won a Chris award.
Sy writes for adults and children, for print and broadcast, in America and overseas in an effort to reach as wide an audience as possible at what she considers a critical turning point in human history. “We are on the cusp of either destroying this sweet, green Earth—or revolutionizing the way we understand the rest of animate creation,” she says. “It’s an important time to be writing about the connections we share with our fellow creatures. It’s a great time to be alive.” She speaks frequently at schools and museums, libraries and universities.
She is a 1979 graduate of Syracuse University, a triple major with dual degrees in Magazine Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and in French Language and Literature and in Psychology from the College of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Keene State College in 2004, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Franklin Pierce University and also from Southern New Hampshire University in 2011.
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