Michael Hutchins, Ph.D
Director, Conservation & Science
Dr. Michael Hutchins was one of World Safaris’ Founding Partners and served as Director, Conservation and Science. Prior to his passing in 2018, Michael traveled to six continents and 35 countries to pursue his interests in wildlife and habitat conservation and sustainability. Growing upon a farm in rural Iowa, his father introduced him to nature, collecting butterflies, seining creeks for frogs and salamanders and hunting for fossils and minerals in the local gravel pit. This led to a life-long fascination for all things natural, and a deep commitment to wildlife and habitat conservation.
Michael’s extensive world-wide travels included many of the premier wildlife locations where World Safaris offers exciting travel opportunities, including Africa, Australia, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands. Included among his many treasured experiences were: trapping and tagging mountain goats in the Olympic Mountains, being within a few feet of wild lions and leopards in Tanzania, SCUBA diving with manta rays and sharks on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, tracking jaguars and anacondas in the Brazilian Pantanal, observing resplendent quetzals in Monte Verde Rain Forest Reserve in Costa Rica, photographing tribal ceremonies in Papua New Guinea, banding Megellanic penguins in Patagonia, Argentina, and snorkeling with marine iguanas and climbing Volcano Darwin in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. He was member of the Explorer’s Club and a professional affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers.
Dr. Hutchins had a long and highly successful career in wildlife science, management and conservation, having served as Graduate Instructor and Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he taught courses in animal behavior (1976-1984), Curatorial Intern in Mammalogy, Conservation Biologist and Coordinator of Research at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s world-famous Bronx Zoo (1985-1990), William Conway Chair of Conservation and Science for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (1990-2005) and Executive Director/CEO of The Wildlife Society, the premier association representing over 11,000 wildlife managers and scientists (2005-2012). He most recently served as National Coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign and the Board of Directors of the Global Insular Conservation Society and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
Michael has written and edited over 200 books, articles, and reports, many peer-reviewed, including serving as Editor Emeritus for Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, a 20-volume compendium covering the entire animal kingdom. He received his Ph.D. in Animal Behavior with minors in Ecology and Statistics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1984, where he studied the behavioral ecology of Rocky Mountain goats in Olympic National Park, WA.