Hello. I'm Jeff Flocken, and I'll be one of the two field reporters for this trip. I'm very excited about this upcoming adventure for a number of reasons. As a CI employee, I'm looking forward to seeing up close Conservation International's work in the field. Additionally, I've never been to Brazil, even though I've been doing animal conservation work for eight years – and Brazil has the greatest variety of wildlife in the world! This is also my third time visiting a country with wild tapirs, but I still haven't seen one – so I'm hoping that three is a charm since tapirs are one of my favorite species.
My friends and family are cautiously supportive of the trip, as they know I am prone to misadventures when I travel: I've been attacked by African army ants, ambushed by baboons, and accidentally drank poison in the Serengeti while studying giraffes; I lost 13 pounds in one week from a stomach virus while filming tigers in India; I've been bitten by a giant catfish in Australia while working on laws protecting koalas; and while in the wilds of Costa Rica a month ago, I woke up in my tent with a jungle rat in my hair, and later the next morning slid down a rock embankment and banged up my leg during a five hour hike looking for...you guessed it – tapirs. Hopefully, this adventure will be just as exciting as my past ones, but better for my health.
Jeff Flocken was Education and Outreach Director for Conservation International in 2002. He has a law degree from Wayne State University, and graduated with honors from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Conservation International, Jeff created and managed the leading national endangered species conservation campaign for the United States' largest conservation organization, National Wildlife Federation.
In this capacity he worked on national and regional endangered species policy, orchestrated species conservation initiatives across North America, and developed-award winning educational and outreach materials on the need for endangered species conservation. Additionally, Jeff has worked with the general counsel at Greenpeace, USA; edited for the scholarly publication, The Yearbook of International Environmental Law; and served as a toxics policy specialist negotiating for higher water-quality standards in the Great Lakes watershed region.
Jeff made his national television debut on the TBS Superstation as a co-star in the documentary, Tiger!, and has served as a consultant on numerous movies and television shows addressing endangered species topics. Publications include The Keep the Wild Alive Booklet, The Endangered Cats of North America Report, and an article in Michigan Today entitled "Confessions of a Cautiously Optimistic Endangered Species Conservationist."