Rana Bayrakçısmith joined Panthera in 2011 and is currently the Snow Leopard Program Manager for Panthera, based in Seattle, Washington, USA. Previously, Rana has worked as a llama hiking guide in the Olympic Mountains, wrangling llamas and guiding guests on single and multi-day treks. She conducted field research with the US Forest Service on one of the three remaining populations of the Washington State threatened western gray squirrel. Rana worked for many years as a zoo keeper with Asian bears, snow leopards and a wide variety of other species. She also previously worked as Program Coordinator for the Snow Leopard Network, an international organization of over 600 members dedicated to exchanging information for snow leopard conservation and as the Research and Conservation Coordinator for the Snow Leopard Trust.
And just between us…
I’m excited that we are working directly with women in the conservancies we support in Tajikistan and providing them with some real options for their life’s work. I can’t wait to meet these ladies in person – as well as the members of this illustrious team whom I have not yet met. This experience will also help me write grant reports and proposals to keep this program moving forward.
In my current position, I only spend a few weeks each year in the field, so I try to make up for that by day hiking regularly in the Cascade Mountains. As for language skills, I know a small amount of Turkish (I am half Turkish), but unfortunately no Tajik or Russian.