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For Immediate Release

Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


Time magazine’s ‘Hero for the Planet’ Laurie Marker to speak

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – April 21, 2006 – Laurie Marker, co-founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa, and Time magazine’s 2000 “Hero for the Planet,” will discuss "The Cheetah Conservation Fund: An Example of Innovative Non-Profit Management" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3 in the Gates Common Room, on the third floor of Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave., on the Colorado College campus. Her talk is free and open to the public.

Marker’s lecture is part of Colorado College’s new Visiting Innovative Minds series, designed to bring prominent innovators to the college to engage with students and faculty, speak to the general public and make positive connections with the innovators of the Colorado Springs area.

With more than 30 years experience working with cheetahs, Marker has become one of the leading authorities on the world's fastest land animal.

She began her career at Wildlife Safari in Oregon, and later worked with cheetah conservation at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. In 1990, Marker moved to Namibia, Africa, and co-founded the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), an internationally known center for cheetah research and conservation, where she currently serves as director. In July 2000 CCF opened a new field research station to the public; it features a visitor's center, cheetah museum and education center.

While cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) were once found all over Africa and Asia, they are now endangered in most of their original ranges, and extinct in others. Approximately 12,000 cheetahs remain worldwide. Although cheetahs pose no threat to human life, they are often seen as a threat to livestock. Persecution by humans, competition with larger predators and loss of prey base and habitat are the major threats to cheetah survival.

Marker and the CCF staff work with local farmers, schools, governments and non-government organizations to help increase the understanding of, and appreciation for, the cheetah. Cheetah Conservation Fund activities include numerous innovative conservation and management strategies designed to reduce the conflict between humans and cheetahs. For example, the CCF provides Anatolian Shepherd guard dogs to protect local livestock without harming cheetahs; it also has an active cheetah relocation program. CCF collaborative strategies often serve as models for other non-profit organizations.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts and sciences college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,960 students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.