Dr. Lisa Dabek, Program Director
Danny Samandingke with Deputy Prime Minister of PNG, Dr. Puka Temu.
Karau Kuna Jr.
Benjamin Sipa, Sustainability and Livelihoods Manager
Christie Galitsky, Program Coordinator
Lisa Dabek, Ph.D.
Program Director and Senior Conservation Scientist, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Originally from New York City, Lisa started studying Matschie’s tree kangaroos in 1987 as part of her graduate studies at the University of Washington. She originally studied the behavioral development, mother-young interactions, and then reproductive biology and behavior of female captive tree kangaroos at Woodland Park Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center. Two key people at these institutions that introduced her to the world of tree kangaroos were Judie Steenberg and Larry Collins.
Lisa brought the zoo-based knowledge of Matschie’s tree kangaroos to Papua New Guinea where no previous work had been done on this endangered species. She started the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program in 1996 in collaboration with the people of YUS and is considered a leading expert on tree kangaroos.
Program Coordinator, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Christie joined TKCP in May of 2013 after obtaining a second Master's degree from the University of Washington in Wildlife Biology (her first is in Chemical Engineering from the University of California in Berkeley). Previously, she worked for 10 years as an engineer where she helped manufacturers around the world improve the energy efficiency of their processes, helped develop and carry out an improved stove program for refugees in Darfur, Sudan, and helped develop an arsenic removal media for Bangladesh.
Program Manager, Lae/YUS LLG, Papua New Guinea
Mikal joined the TKCP team in 2011. A native of Ohio, Mikal completed a transdisciplinary Master's degree in International Rural Development from the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom. With a desire to make an impact at the grassroots level, Mikal has spent several years working with community organizations in Indonesia and Zambia as a volunteer with CUSO-VSO. She brings professional experience in capacity building, livelihood and organizational development.
Karau Kuna, Jr.
Conservation Strategies Manager, Lae, Papua New Guinea
Kuna is from the Manus & Eastern Highlands Provinces of Papua New Guinea. Kuna joined TKCP in 2004, with a Honors Degree in GIS & Remote sensing from the University of Papua New Guinea.
Sustainability and Livelihoods Manager, Lae, Papua New Guinea
Benjamin is from Simbu, PNG, and moved to Lae to join TKCP in 2010, working as a lead person in implementing community livelihood activities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, with a focus on Social Sciences at University of Papua New Guinea, Waigani Campus. Benjamin has worked previously with the Bismarck Ramu Group (NGO) on community based conservation and community empowerment in the Madang Province of PNG, as well as with the Community Development Agency in Simbu, PNG to coordinate and implement community development and livelihood activities.
Leadership Training and Outreach Senior Coordinator, Teptep village, YUS LLG, Papua New Guinea
Danny, originally from Morobe and Madang Provinces, began working for TKCP in 2011. He has a degree from the Balob Teacher's College in Lae and a Bachelor's degree in Primary Science from the University of Goroka, PNG. Danny previously worked as a primary teacher for the PNG Department of Education and is currently the lead for TKCP's Environmental Education and Outreach activities.
Conservation Officer, Som Zone, YUS LLG, Papua New Guinea
Conservation Officer, Uruwa Zone, YUS LLG, Papua New Guinea;
Yopno Zone Conservation Officer, YUS LLG, Papua New Guinea
Mapping Assistant, Towet village, YUS LLG, Papua New Guinea
Victor is from Towet village, Ward 1 of the YUS LLG in PNG. He officially joined TKCP to work as the Mapping Officer for the Uruwa region in April 2009. Victor has vast experience gained through years of assistance in research and conservation work in his area.
Mapping Assistant, Isan village, YUS LLG, Papua New Guinea
Matthew is from Isan village, Ward 8 of the YUS LLG in PNG. He officially joined TKCP to work as the Mapping Officer for the Yopno region in April 2009. Matthew completed his high school education and also has vast experience gained through years of assistance in research and conservation work in his area.