Even as a young girl, Amy has always been fascinated by animals. Maybe it’s because she and her three sisters cared for all types of different pets, or because her father had a veterinary practice where she would help out with the patients. Probably both. She grew up in a small town in upstate New York, and loved spending every moment outdoors.
When high school came around, she found out that she excelled in math and biology. She then went onto Swarthmore College to get her degree in biology. In comes Bill Weber, her best friend throughout college and soon to be her husband. Once they graduated, the idea of traveling to Africa to volunteer as teachers with the Peace Corps captivated them both, because they shared the hopes of making the world a better place. On this trip to Africa was where Amy met her first gorilla. When she returned to the United States, both Amy and Bill got their graduate degrees and returned back to Africa to make their dream of studying gorillas come true.
They soon realized that the loss of natural habitat was endangering the gorillas, and did everything they could to deter the extinction of the species. They helped inform the Rwandans about the problem and the importance of conservation, raised money for projects, and founded the Mountain Gorilla Project. When she returned to the United States next, she directed the Africa Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society for six years. Now, she is Director of the Living Landscapes Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Amy Vedder is acknowledged for her 25 plus years of dedication to protect wildlife and wildland conservation. She is known internationally for having launched highly successful conservation programs, and is still continuing her work to accomplish more.