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Rob Peters, Ph.D.

Executive director

Rob Peters, Ph.D.

Before joining Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Rob was senior Arizona representative for Defenders of Wildlife, where he worked on issues that included Arizona mining (working closely with the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance), western water issues, public lands, transmission lines, BLM vegetation treatment projects, jaguar recovery in the US, climate change effects on biological diversity, and negotiation and group facilitation. Rob has extensive experience analyzing mining proposals, Forest Service and BLM management plans, and endangered species recovery plans.

Prior to joining Defenders, Rob was executive director of the Western Slope Conservation Center in the small town of Paonia, Colorado, and before that worked for World Wildlife Fund US as an expert on how global warming affects biological diversity. Rob has also been a free-lance editor and college teacher, where he taught English composition, biology and ecology, statistics, journalism, and graphic design software.

Rob authored major Defenders of Wildlife reports that include In the Shadow of the Wall: Borderlands Wildlife, Habitat and Collaborative Conservation at Risk; Potential Impacts of Proposed Liquified Natural Gas Facilities on Ocelot Recovery in Texas; Bringing el Tigre Home: Jaguar Recovery in the U.S. Southwest; and Beyond Cutting Emissions: Protecting Wildlife and Ecosystems in a Warming World. He was first author of the 2018 Bioscience article "Nature Divided, Scientists United: US-Mexico Border Wall Threatens Biodiversity and Binational Conservation," which was signed by more than 3,000 scientists world-wide.

Rob has also worked as a web programmer, cartoonist and disco dance teacher. Rob is author of the best-selling guide to graduate school, Getting What You Came For: the Smart Student’s Guide to Getting a Master’s or Ph.D., still in print after 25 years and translated into Japanese and Chinese.

Rob is married to Karen Probert, also executive director of a non-profit, and father of Athena Lucia Peters, a student at ASU’s Barrett Honors College.

Rob received a Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University and a B.S. with highest honors and comprehensive honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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