LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Sept. 23, 2015 – Whether helping educate guests at Walt Disney World Resort or contributing to wildlife and habitat protection around the world, Anne Savage, Ph. D. has helped lead Disney’s bold environmental approach as conservation director for Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. With a new honor, she joins a century’s old society of celebrated pioneers and legendary explorers such as President Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager and Sally Ride.
The Explorers Club, a world-renown champion of conservation and exploration for more than a century, has honored Dr. Savage as one of its 2015 Lowell Thomas Award winners. The Club’s annual awards program celebrates explorers worldwide who exhibit excellence and innovation in conservation, with an emphasis on emerging ideas and technology that meaningfully contributes to knowledge of the world and how to protect it.
The Club applauded Dr. Savage’s groundbreaking and diverse studies in animal behavior and conservation biology. In addition to her scientific contributions, Dr. Savage was commended for work in helping educate and engage people on conservation initiatives, promoting the ongoing protection of natural habitats.
“It’s an honor to be in the company of the pioneering conservationists, scientists, artists, activists and adventurers who make up the Explorers Club,” said Dr. Savage. “Though we have different backgrounds and areas of expertise, all Club members share a passion for saving the Earth’s species and natural habitats — a value that is also shared by my fellow Disney Cast Members.”
Known for her conversation leadership and innovation, Dr. Savage has been integral in the protection of cotton-top tamarins, a critically endangered species of primate found only in the tropical forests of Colombia. Dr. Savage worked with the Colombian conservation group Proyecto Tití (a Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund grant recipient) to develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy to protect wild cotton-top tamarins. Dr. Savage and her team helped develop education and sustainable income-generating programs for the rural communities surrounding the tamarins forest habitats. Among the successes of the program, which has continued for more than 20 years, has been establishing the Colombian national holiday “Day of the Cotton-Top,” which has inspired a local movement to save the small monkey.
First awarded on the occasion of The Explorers Club’s 75th anniversary, the Lowell Thomas Awards honor individuals at the forefront of conservation science. Founded in New York City in 1904, the Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. Its members have included innovators.
Besides Dr. Savage, The Explorers Club recognized five other noted conservationists with the 2015 Lowell Thomas Award, including:
- Mark Edward Hay, Ph.D.,experimental field ecologist
- Robert Glenn Ketchum, photographer and activist
- Federico M. Lauro, Ph.D.,director of Indigo V Expeditions
- George Van Nostrand Powell, Ph.D., conservationist
- Gary A. Strobel, Ph.D.,microbiologist and naturalist
Disney has a longstanding commitment to championing environmental stewardship. Through energy and water conservation, along with waste minimization, Walt Disney World Resort – along with Disney Parks and Resorts around the world – effectively manages resource use and helps preserve the natural environment through science, education and leadership. The Disney Conservation Fund, founded in 1995, is a key pillar in Disney’s efforts to protect the planet and help kids develop lifelong conservation values. The fund grants provide financial support for: the study of wildlife; the protection of habitats; the development of community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems; and experiences that connect kids to nature through exploration and discovery.