Our History


CK9 Tucker expresses his thanks to Dr. Wasser for giving him the greatest job a water-loving lab could ever possibly dream of!

CK9 Tucker expresses his thanks to Dr. Wasser for giving him the greatest job a water-loving lab could ever possibly dream of!

The use of dogs to locate wildlife scat over large areas was pioneered in 1997 by Dr. Samuel Wasser, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology and the Conservation Canines program.

Dr. Wasser collaborated with Sgt. Barbara Davenport, Master Canine Trainer with the Washington State Department of Corrections, to modify narcotics detection dog methods to train dogs to locate scat from threatened and endangered species.

Since then, our Center’s Conservation Canines program has been non-invasively monitoring a diverse array of threatened, endangered and exotic species around the world, including, tigers, orcas, fishers, spotted owls, bears, wolves, caribou, giant armadillos, giant anteaters, pumas, jaguars, and even Pacific pocket mice...and many, many more.

Director, Dr. Samuel Wasser is acknowledged worldwide as a pioneer of non-invasive wildlife monitoring methods, including the genetic, endocrine and detection dog techniques used by the Center.

After obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1981, Dr. Wasser received consecutive Career Development Awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. In 2001, Dr. Wasser was awarded the Endowed Chair in Conservation Biology by the University of Washington Board of Regents.

Dr. Wasser has participated in a number of conservation programs around the world, in collaboration with state, federal, and international organizations. He was coordinator of the Smithsonian Institution’s Wildlife Conservation and Management Training Program for African Nationals. He also co-edited the book Biogeography and Ecology of the Rain Forests of Eastern Africa, describing one of the most biodiverse “hot-spots” in the world.

His work is internationally respected by scientists, environmental activists, and government and non-government wildlife managers. This places Dr. Wasser in a unique position to negotiate the kinds of conservation solutions needed in our rapidly changing world.


A program of the University of Washington's Center For Conservation Biology

Content © 2018 by Conservation Canines

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