Scott Pancratz, MS 2000
Connecting youth to research & conservation
After growing up in Thousand Oaks, California Scott moved to Montana to join the ski patrol in Big Sky.
Until a month ago Scott was the Executive Director of Ecology Project International, an organization he co-founded with his wife Julie Osborn in 2000. In January 2020, he will start his new position as the Executive Director at Adventure Cycling Association.
Scott is passionate about conservation and environmental education, and particularly, connecting people to their local ecology. After completing a year-long environmental education program at the Teton Science School, where he worked with Grand Teton National Park, he had an opportunity to live in Costa Rica for six months working on a sea turtle research project. While there, Scott had an epiphany. “I realized these projects needed what I had learned at the Teton Science School,” says Scott. “Most of the researchers were foreign and the projects did not have local leaders. They lived in paradise, yet the locals had little opportunity to understand the uniqueness of it and engage with the ecology…they were actually eating turtle eggs.” Scott realized that “unless locals valued and protected wildlife and critical habitats in their own backyards, conservation efforts would ultimately fail. People can’t value what they don’t understand.”
Scott is proud of the work he and his team have accomplished at Ecology Project International. Their work has helped 35,000 young people from five continents play an active role in conservation. “We brought this new way of thinking and engaging to these conservation projects. There had never been a way to engage local youth in nearby scientific research and conservation before. We facilitated these opportunities and now teachers are doing it on their own. Even colleges and national parks are doing it. It’s changing lives. Species are being protected and support for conservation efforts has changed!”
What Others Are Saying:
Liz Moore, Executive Director of the Montana Non-Profit Association says, "Scott is one of those leaders who consistently elevates a conversation, an initiative, a movement. He has that great quality of not only being a great thinker, but also being able to move an idea forward. Upward and forward... that's Scott in two words."
What Scott Says About EVST:
“I knew what I wanted to do when I arrived,” says Scott. “EVST helped me focus my ideas and, at the same time, opened me up to other ideas. The program was multidisciplinary and flexible, it included science, culture, art and helped me think about the whole system. EVST was also a gateway to a wealth of people and knowledge.”