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J. Michael Fay

J. Michael Fay

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Encyclopedia
J. Michael Fay is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 ecologist and conservationist
Conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

 notable for, among other things, the MegaTransect
MegaTransect
MegaTransect was the name for a project conducted in Africa in 1999 by J. Michael Fay to spend 455 days on the expedition hike of 2000 miles across the Congo Basin of Africa to survey the ecological and environmental status of the region....

, in which he spent 455 days walking 3200 miles across Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and the MegaFlyover
MegaFlyover
The MegaFlyover project was a seven month aerial survey from June 2004 to January 2005 by explorer/ecologist J. Michael Fay and pilot Peter Ragg sponsored by the National Geographic Society and others...

 in which he and pilot Peter Ragg spent months flying 70,000 miles in a small plane at low altitude, taking photographs every twenty seconds. Both projects were sponsored by the National Geographic Society, which produced articles and documentaries about the projects.

Biography


Fay graduated in 1978 from the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

, and then joined the Peace Corps
Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an American volunteer program run by the United States Government, as well as a government agency of the same name. The mission of the Peace Corps includes three goals: providing technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand US culture, and helping...

 working in Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 and the Central African Republic
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic , is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the north east, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of about ,...

. In 1984 he joined the Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is also known informally as Shaw's Garden for founder Henry Shaw, a botanist and philanthropist.-History:...

. He completed his doctorate
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 on the western lowland gorilla
Gorilla
Gorillas are the largest extant species of primates. They are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and either four or five subspecies...

 in 1997, while also surveying large forest blocks by aeroplane and working to create and manage the Dzanga-Sangha
Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve
The Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve is a protected reserve of southwestern Central African Republic. It was established in 1990 and covers 6865.54 km²...

 park and the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park
Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park
Nouabal-Ndoki National Park is a national park in the Republic of the Congo. Established in 1993, north of Congo, it is mostly populated with elephants, apes, ranging from Western Lowland Gorillas to chimpanzees and bongo. It is of pristine tropical rainforest with no human habitation within it...

 in the Central African Republic
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic , is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the north east, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of about ,...

 and Republic of the Congo
Republic of the Congo
The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

.

He has worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society based at the Bronx Zoo was founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society and currently manages some of wild places around the world, with over 500 field conservation projects in 60 countries, and 200 scientists on staff...

 since 1990, and is an Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society , headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical...

.

In 2006, Fay and National Geographic photographer Michael Nichols traveled to Zakouma National Park
Zakouma National Park
Zakouma National Park is a national park, located between Sarh and Am Timan, in the south of Chad. Created in 1963, it was Chad's first national park, and has an area of almost...

 to document the danger poachers create for the world's largest remaining concentration of elephants. Their trip resulted in Ivory Wars, Last Stand in Zakouma.

He has testified before the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on the need for preservation of wildlife and habitat.

He currently lives in Utah with his wife Tamara Watkins Fay.

External links