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UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Professor is First Veterinarian to Receive Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship

Patricia Conrad, DVM, PhDPatricia Conrad, DVM, PhD, a professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has been awarded a 2004 Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship. The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program provides scientists with intensive communications and leadership training to enhance their ability to communicate effectively with non-scientific audiences, especially policy makers, the media, business leaders and the public. Twenty Fellows are selected annually through a competitive application process.

Conrad is the first veterinarian selected for the fellowship, say program officials.

Training consists of two one-week sessions held in Connecticut and Washington, DC during summer and fall of 2004. Conrad will attend courses in leadership development, strategy planning, and communications skills. She will then visit with policy makers, industry members, scientific societies and non-governmental organizations. Upon completion of the program, Conrad will return to the School of Veterinary Medicine to conduct outreach activities and share her newly learned skills with students and colleagues.

Conrad's research emphasizes protozoans, one-celled parasites that infect wildlife, humans and domestic animals. Her team's most recent research focuses on the role of freshwater runoff in the transmission of Toxoplasma gondii, an organism that causes fatal brain infections in California sea otters. Conrad also maintains interest in studies of tropical animal diseases of livestock and wildlife that she has undertaken in Scotland, Kenya and South Africa. She is an advocate for integrated research approaches that take into consideration wildlife and ecosystem health, as well as human and livestock interactions in developing countries.

The Aldo Leopold Leadership Program was launched in 1998 with the goal of improving the flow of accurate, clear scientific information to policy makers, the media and the public by training outstanding academic environmental scientists to be better communicators of complex scientific information. The program is named for Aldo Leopold, a renowned environmental scientist who communicated his scientific knowledge simply and eloquently. His writings, including his 1949 book, A Sand County Almanac, are credited with infusing the emerging conservation movement with good science and a stewardship ethic.

The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine conducts teaching, research and service activities statewide to benefit animal, human and environmental health.


Media contacts:
Lynn Narlesky
, Communications
School of Veterinary Medicine
(530) 752-5257

Cynthia Barakatt, Manager, Training & Outreach
Aldo Leopold Leadership Program
Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
Tel: (617) 226-2189 Fax: (617) 720-5102