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About Us

OUR NONPROFIT MISSION IS TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO CONSERVE ENDANGERED SPECIES AND ECOSYSTEMS

Wildlife Protection Solutions is an international wildlife conservation non-profit, headquartered in Colorado, whose mission is to use technology for the conservation of endangered species and ecosystems.
Our team of conservation tech experts has developed a mobile and desktop app to fight wildlife crime in real-time we call wpsWatch. We help provide 24/7 wildlife monitoring wildlife reserves using custom camera traps and software which can detect wildlife threats and prompt an immediate response to active intrusions and illegal activities.

 


 

WPS has established research camps in a number of international locations. Our research camps are located in remote natural environments and consist of housing facilities, personnel, research equipment, and communications infrastructure. These test sites provide a live environment to develop, refine and demonstrate the latest in technology-based conservation applications.

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

sue thompson

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Sue Thompson has extensive experience with both for-profit and non-profit organizations. For over 23 years, Sue was involved with two for-profit software companies, Columbine Systems, Inc. and Antalys, Inc., where she held key management positions including Vice President, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Chief Financial Officer. She is also a Principal in two real estate investment companies, Indigena, LLC and Laramie Ridge, LLC. Since 2002, Sue has been actively involved in many non-profit groups, as an officer, board member, and general supporter. She has also served for several years as a committee member of a major grant-giving foundation. Sue is currently on the board of Four Winds Interactive and the Boulder Kathmandu Sister City Project. Sue loves nature and is an outdoor enthusiast and animal lover. She is thrilled to bring her broad-minded acuity in both for-profit and non-profit organizations to her lifelong value for preserving lands and protecting the wild animals that live there. Sue also has a deep passion for dancing Argentine Tango and teaches in Boulder, CO.

dave weidner

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Dave Weidner has a strong history of leadership in for-profit companies. As a true entrepreneur, where his legacy has been in the software industry, he founded two very successful software companies: Four Winds Interactive, which has ranked in the ‘Top 50’ list of Forbes most promising companies two years in a row, and Antalys, Inc.. Previous to his two companies, he was President of Columbine Systems, Inc.. He is a Principal in Indigena, LLC and Laramie Ridge, LLC, which are real estate investment companies investing in land, residential, and commercial properties. He now applies his business acumen to his lifelong passion for wildlife protection and conservation. Over the years, Dave’s love of nature and the outdoors has led to numerous land acquisitions and subsequent conservation easement agreements, which ensures the continued welfare of the land and its key habitats. Now with Wildlife Protection Solutions, he is able to bring his enterprising nature, high-tech background, and love of animals together in service to wildlife conservation.

david levin

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David Levin Co-founded Four Winds Interactive in 2005 and has served as the president and CEO of the company since the company’s beginning. David holds a BS in Business with an emphasis in Marketing and Entrepreneurship Small Business Management from the University of Colorado, Boulder.  As an undergraduate, David was the winner of the Leed’s School of Business business plan competition for a company he successfully raised financing for following graduation.

Andrew Currie

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Andrew C. Currie is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader passionate about helping endangered wildlife and the underserved people, especially children, who live with and near endangered wildlife. His work encompasses impact investing including land conservation for wildlife habitat, pro-Nature election work, democracy reform, engaged philanthropy, business consulting for wildlife NGOs and policy advocacy. Andrew led a small impact investment team that helped create a 5,000 acre prairie wildlife preserve in Colorado, and as impact investor, aided in adding land threatened with development to James Peak Wilderness. He also uses media and storytelling with a TEDxBoulder talk on endangered species and human population growth and as creative director of the motion graphics piece ShiftGivingToNature.org.

Katharina Haidenthaler

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Katharina Haidenthaler is a Managing Director of BNY Mellon and has extensive experience in the financial service industry. She spent the last 16 years in various roles at BNY Mellon in both London and New York. After university, Katharina managed the marketing department of an e-commerce start-up company in Vienna. Katharina holds a Master’s Degree from Vienna University of Economics and Business. Having grown up on a farm outside Linz, Austria, Katharina has had a lifelong love for animals and nature. Her trips to South Africa, Rwanda and Uganda motivated Katharina to be more active in the protection of endangered species.

HOW WE'RE DETECTING GLOBAL WILDLIFE THREATS

Catching Poachers in South Africa In case you missed it, here’s an awesome video of our Executive Director telling the story of WPS assisting in the apprehension of poachers in South Africa. Posted by Wildlife Protection Solutions on Friday, January 27, 2017
 

OUR STAFF

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Combining a deep understanding of technology with a passion for wildlife allows Eric Schmidt to approach conservation issues from multiple perspectives.  With a Master’s degree in conservation biology, Eric has worked with governmental institutions such as the US National Renewable Energy Lab and various local and regional government entities focusing primarily on grassland flora and fauna, as well as large mammal wildlife management.  Having had a taste of conservation from the perspective of public institutions, Eric shifted gears and entered the world of tech startups, eventually leading large scale enterprise software deployments to Fortune 500 clients including Verizon, American Airlines, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Hershey’s, Kaiser Permanente, Boeing, Intel, and more.  Today Eric is back to applying those same skills to conservation by leading Wildlife Protection Solutions, an international NGO focused on protecting endangered species and ecosystems through the practical application of technology to field settings.

corey lockman

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Corey Lockman has been involved in WPS since it’s inception.  Having been working in and with many philanthropic organizations for the last 20 years, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the team.  He is currently head of our South Africa operations, working with our property managers and our different project locations on the front-lines of conservation and promoting our anti-poaching efforts.

mike hicks

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Michael comes to Wildlife Protection Solutions by way of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where he served in the role of a Patent Examiner for over 11 years, with over half of that time in the capacity of a Primary Patent Examiner. Prior to his work for the USPTO, Michael studied Computer Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, from which he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 2005. He brings a strong technical background to the team and is eager to apply his knowledge to address the needs of the conservation world.

mike griffiths

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Mike comes to WPS with a wealth of experience in conservation projects.  With over thirty years in conservation and project management, he’s been instrumental in helping to get official recognition for a 2.7 million expanse of rainforest in the north of Sumatra as a conservation area.

Portrait of a man in a mountain setting with snow and ice..

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Matt grew up on a small farm in rural New England. He spent much of his growing years exploring and connecting with the natural world. After spending more than a decade developing software for various organizations in the business world, he joins the WPS Team to combine his technical skills with his passion for nature and conservation.

Portrait of a male conservation biologist beside a large tropical flower.

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George has made a career of blending field study and technology innovations to enhance biodiversity conservation. While working on his PhD in Costa Rica, he co-founded the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and co-initiated the development of a national conservation plan for the country. He went on to study several Central American iconic species, producing data to steer protection of the region’s mega-biodiversity. As a biologist with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), George helped develop conservation plans for biodiversity hotspots across South America and researched protection strategies for jaguars, macaws, and other southeastern Amazon megafauna, with subsequent WWF assignments in Thailand and southern Africa. Joining WPS in 2019, he applies decades of field experience to our 360-degree virtual reality program, with the aim of exciting people about nature through filmed, close-up encounters with animals.

Todd Lehman

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It has always been Todd’s passion to connect the world around sustainability and environmental science. When it comes to the health of our planet and our increasingly global community, he believes sustainability is not just a buzz word anymore, but an imperative that we must all strive for. After receiving his degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from the University of Utah, he quickly turned his passion into action with the founding of an environmental education non-profit, EnviroHub, as well as with the creation of Colorado’s first glass-recycling company, Clear Intentions. He is incredibly enthusiastic about the mission of WPS and hopes to further diminish the plight of many endangered species around the planet.

Bill Masure

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“A dream come true.” That’s how Bill Masure describes his position as Senior Videographer and Editor for the Virtual Reality team at Wildlife Protection Solutions. After an award-winning career in TV photojournalism, Bill joined WPS because of his love of animals, the natural world and the complex issues that go into protecting them. “Everyone at WPS is passionate, talented and incredibly intelligent,” Bill says. “I hope to help save wildlife by giving viewers an experience that is unlike anything they have ever seen. If we can build an appreciation for, and love of, these animals, they will have a better chance to survive.” “I’m honored to work with this pioneering and unique organization.” Bill is a music lover, runner, swimmer and keeper of a few thousand honeybees.

Matt Audette

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Matt is a Colorado native who has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid. After starting a computer sales and repair business at 16, he got his first internship doing Software Quality Assurance while going to CU Boulder. While mostly working at software companies, Matt also helped his wife start a photography business. still helps with shooting and equipment maintenance, and has been privileged to spend a lot of time adventuring. Joining the WPS team realizes his passion for technology, for travel, and a childhood dream of helping to protect the planet.

Joel Perkins-Cook

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Joel began co-producing movies and videos with his brother, Chris, in 2013. Together they own Sage Cinema, a video production company based in Boulder, Colorado. Joel is fluid as a videographer, editor, writer, and director. His films are inspired by his love for animals, and the nature documentaries he watched growing up that introduced him to a wide variety of species and the places they live around the world. Joel sees film as a powerful medium to communicate the wonder of the animal kingdom so that people might admire, understand, and protect wildlife. He is excited to use his skills in service of wildlife protection with WPS.

Rashel Gandhi

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Born and raised in Canada, Rashel spent as much time in the outdoors as possible, hiking through trailheads, exploring the Great Lakes, and adventuring through the Great White North. She then moved to Colorado and attended the University of Colorado – Boulder, where she majored in anthropology with an emphasis on Conservation and Primatology. An adventurer and conservationist at heart, Rashel understood the power technology holds in catalyzing the conservation mission, which led her to become a software engineer. Her work as a researcher, as well as her drive as a life-long learner, steered her towards a career as a full-stack developer in order to be a part of the creative human endeavor and help protect the planet.

Maxwell Lovell

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Maxwell is a VR developer who has spent the past few years honing his skills at Holberton School for creating immersive experiences. He is excited about the potential of VR and how it can heavily impact people, and he feels that Wildlife Protection Solutions’ mission aligns perfectly with his passions. He looks forward to furthering his skills as a part of the team and creating an app that inspires others.

lisa johnston

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From her early years building a socially relevant youth theater to starting a business as a trapeze artist to helping non-profits clarify and reach their potential through marketing and development initiatives, Lisa has sought work that aligns with her passion for personal and societal transformation. Prior to WPS, she was the Marketing Director for a multi-million dollar retreat center in the Colorado Rockies. Lisa considers herself fortunate for the opportunity to be a part of this team of wildlife enthusiasts working to protect endangered species.

Larry Watkins

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Larry comes to us with an extensive background in full stack application development, from bare metal to the cloud. He has fulfilled roles from developer to enterprise architect. As an architect he has led a multinational team in successfully implementing solutions used around the world. His passion for technology has inspired him to explore and understand not just the larger solution, but the intricacies as well. In working with various STEM programs, he has inspired and educated kids to the possibilities in applying creative thinking to technological solutions. Following his passion for the outdoors led him to the great state of Colorado from the midwest.

Jacob O'Neill

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Jacob is a VR developer with a degree in computer graphics from the University of Minnesota. Starting as a video game developer, he transitioned into the ‘serious games’ industry with a desire to use his knowledge to better the world. He has experience developing simulation and educational software and is excited to apply those skills to environmental conservation and outreach.

Elsa Roeber

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Elsa has grown up enjoying the outdoors. From mountain biking to telemark skiing, she has developed a deep appreciation for the natural world and the importance of conserving it. Elsa studied creative technology at the University of Colorado Boulder, and in her free time she performed weekly with a comedy crew. She also enjoys painting, specifically animals and natural scenes. Elsa is excited to combine her technical knowledge with her passion for wildlife.

Jai Krishnan

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Jai comes to us with a proven track record of success in leadership around the development and release of quality software products.  He has more than 25 years of experience in the software industry and is skillful at working with teams, partners and customers in the US, Europe, and Asia. Jai will be using his knowledge and experience in the software world to help WPS solve wildlife conservation issues using technology.

Matt Hron

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After 12 years working in various technical roles in healthcare IT, Matt decided to follow his passion and pursue a career in wildlife conservation. He worked closely with several endangered species at VulPro in South Africa and the Denver Zoo before joining WPS. He brings a strong technical background, knowledge of wildlife ecology, and passion for making the world a better place through connecting people to nature. Matt got his bachelor’s degree in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Biology from Miami University.

Tom Coetzee

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Tom comes from a career in conservation stretching over 24 years. He started out studying Nature Conservation and was soon offered a position at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre as a ranger. He quickly climbed the ladder from ranger to manager and over the next 19 years worked in a number of South Africa’s well-known private game reserves. In the 5 years prior to joining WPS he was the Reserve Warden at Thornybush Nature Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park. Tom counts himself very fortunate to have been included into the team at WPS and brings with him vast conservation experience and aims to carry this knowledge over into the global conservation of the world’s most endangered species and ecosystems.

James Goodheart copy

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James is a Villanova University graduate with a degree in Computer Engineering who spent much of his career developing software for the ski resort industry. Frequent outings into the Appalachia as a child allowed him to foster an early relationship with nature, however, it was the Rocky Mountains that elevated James’s love for the outdoors to a new level. Trail running has become an integral part of his life. It is a mechanism for him to embrace nature, and a motivation to protect it. Inspired by his wife’s journey through environmental and animal conservation, James is eager to follow suit and dedicate his career to developing technologies that can help protect our world’s vulnerable species and ecosystems.

Estiaan Houy

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As a kid I loved the outdoors and spent a lot of time in the Kruger Park and that’s where my love for wildlife started. After school, i went to do my guiding qualifications and soon after got the opportunity to start guiding in the Waterberg area, but my heart was still in the Lowveld. I then got the oppertunity to guide in the Lowveld and eventually ended up in the Kruger Park where my Love for the bush started. I was very fortunate to do a couple of off years as a trails guide in the Kruger before I started my career as the Team Leader of the Jock Environmental Monitoring Unit. In my spare time, I love to do a bit of sport and Wildlife Photography.

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