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The "Indiana Jones of Wildlife Conservation" is the 2016 RCAS Distinguished Explorer

March 30, 2016
By Zane Joiner

Beloit's Roy Chapman Andrews Society has selected a renowned zoologist as its Distinguished Explorer for 2016. He is Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, an American called by Time Magazine the "Indiana Jones of Wildlife Conservation." 

Dr. Rabinowitz's work focuses on the study of large cats and the preservation of their natural habitats throughout the world. On Friday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m. in Eaton Chapel on the Beloit College campus, he will present his award acceptance lecture entitled "Ground Truthing Exploration – Why Biological Exploration Isn't History" followed by a dinner in his honor. The lecture is open to the public. Earlier that day he will meet with students from area school districts and Beloit College.

Alan Rabinowitz with colleagues 

As a youngster interested in wildlife, Rabinowitz suffered from severe stuttering making it hard for him to communicate with other children or teachers. During that difficult time he could effectively talk only to animals and made a promise that if he ever found his voice, he would use it to help them. He ultimately became an articulate speaker, author, and role model whose life is dedicated to wildlife conservation. He is currently the CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit organization devoted to saving the world's wild cat species. More about Alan Rabinowitz can be found at www.panthera.org.

The Roy Chapman Andrews Society is dedicated to encouraging exploration for people of all ages. This year in conjunction with honoring its Distinguished Explorer, the Society is collaborating with the Welty Environmental Center to provide in-school workshops for School District of Beloit students in preparation for Rabinowitz's visit. Thirty-two Welty workshops with the theme "A Place for Predators: Ecosystems in Balance" will explore how humans and predators can coexist and benefit each other in local ecosystems.   

This summer, the Welty Environmental Center and the RCAS will collaborate on a weeklong exploration program for area students. It will take place at Beloit's Big Hill Park, an area where Andrews spent much of his time as a boy. Roy Chapman Andrews grew up in Beloit, attending local schools and Beloit College. He ultimately gained national fame as an explorer for the American Museum of Natural History. 

Learn about membership in the Society named in his honor via www.roychapmanandrewssociety.org.  April 15 dinner reservations can be made on the Society website or by contacting Administrative Assistant Ruth Carlson via ruth@roychapmanandrewssociety.org  or (608) 365-4838. This number connects callers with Visit Beloit, Beloit's Convention and Visitors Bureau, who will provide a direct phone link to the RCAS.