Minnesota Zoo Conservation Director Named One of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty”
Apple Valley, MN – March 16, 2012 – The Minnesota Zoo’s Director of Conservation, Dr. Tara Harris, has been named one of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” honorees. The honorees are a select crew of the Twin Cities’ top young business and community leaders.
Harris, who was named the Zoo’s director of conservation in April, 2011, served as one of the Zoo’s conservation biologists for three years prior to that. She coordinates the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP), the Minnesota Zoo’s Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant Program, and the Zoo’s Green Team. She also oversees the Zoo’s field conservation efforts, including new programs on prairie butterflies and moose in Minnesota, and programs on black rhinos and mountain zebras in Namibia.
Says Harris: “It’s an honor to have been chosen for this award. My job as director of conservation is already incredibly rewarding, but even more so knowing that others at the Zoo and in my community appreciate the work that I do.”
Adds Minnesota Zoo Director/CEO Lee Ehmke: “Dr. Harris—in a relatively short period of time—has significantly energized the Zoo’s conservation efforts, not only here at the Zoo but on national and global projects and programs as well. She is rapidly emerging as a leader in the zoo/conservation professional community. We are very pleased that her great work has been recognized with this well-deserved honor.”
Before joining the Minnesota Zoo, Harris spent four years living in the forests of Uganda, studying colobus monkeys as part of her doctoral research at Yale University and postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. As part of this research, Harris has published numerous scientific articles about primate behavior, ecology, hormones, and genetics. At the Zoo, her scientific research has focused on mountain zebras and tigers.
Harris holds a B.S. in biology from George Mason University and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Yale University.
The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).