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Jamie Bechtel
Jamie Bechtel is the Co-Founder and CEO of New Course and is a highly regarded leader in international conservation. Her work has led to strategic advances in the fields of conservation, sustainable finance, and biology.

Before founding New Course, Jamie worked for seven years at Conservation International (CI). During her tenure at CI, Jamie worked in over 20 countries including such diverse areas as Ecuador, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Fiji, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, and Papua New Guinea among many others. Through her work, Jamie has tackled complex issues such as mitigating destructive fishing practice, improving legal and policy frameworks, increasing enforcement efforts, developing market based solutions, improving community engagement, and ensuring scalability of projects.

While Jamie has had the privilege of working with world leaders, CEO’s of major multi-national corporations, and esteemed academic scholars; the opportunities that Jamie most highly values stem from her on the ground experiences. It is Jamie’s work with fishermen, farmers, community leaders and men, women, and children in villages and communities around the world that has fundamentally shaped Jamie’s ethic and her approach to conservation and development.

Through her research and field experience, Jamie began to realize the important need to include women in conservation and development strategies, and recognized that women have historically been excluded from conservation and development strategies. This realization led Jamie to step down from her role at CI and reengage in conservation and poverty alleviation through the development of an exciting new not-for-profit organization called NEW Course. NEW Course is focused on changing the course of women’s lives through conservation and sustainable development.

Jamie has a Ph.D. from Boston University in biology and a law degree from Boston College; however, it is Jamie’s experience on the ground that fundamentally shapes who she is and how she works.

Entries by Jamie Bechtel

Emergency Environmental Response Services: Charting a Course for the Next Fifty Years

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2016 | 12:59 AM

Let's say you are sitting in your living room watching, I don't know, Fox News. Suddenly you break out into a sweat, there is a tightness in your chest, and you can barely breathe. You think that you are having a heart attack. You dial 911 and an ambulance is...

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What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Time Security

(1) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 10:16 AM

Time is a finite, non-renewable resource. There are twenty-four hours in the day. Each and every day we have to accomplish certain things in order to survive and to ensure that our children are able to grow and, hopefully, thrive. We have to find food and water. We need to...

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Why Protecting the Environment 'For Future Generations' Is a Bad Idea

(2) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 5:04 PM

I recently took my son to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Suffice to say, they do amazing work rescuing and rereleasing baby elephants and rhinos back into the wild. They currently house 29 elephants under the age of three and one five-year-old who has a...

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The Legacy of Wangari Maathai: Women as Green Agents of Change

(5) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 12:05 PM

By Wanjira Mathai and Jamie Bechtel

The world unites to honor the European Union 2012 as the Nobel Peace Prize is bestowed upon the governing body for its hard work, over the past six decades, in maintaining stability in Europe. This prize has been won by presidents...

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Intentional Environmentalist, Accidental Feminist: Fixing the Conservation Sector's Biggest Mistake

(0) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 10:51 AM

The conservation sector is an industry that spends about $10 billion a year protecting globally important biodiversity. This makes conservation one of the most underfunded efforts in the world; that number should be much higher. Many people think that protecting the environment is a luxury as...

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Spread of HIV Linked to Fishery Collapse: Is Fair Trade Fish an Answer?

(8) Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 5:20 PM

We hear a lot about the overfishing crisis. Overfishing is, in fact, a crisis and we are running out of fish. Frankly, this is a crisis that you and I will survive. But a billion people are running out of fish, and they won't survive because fish is...

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Will Orangutans Become Extinct Before the Conservation Community Gets Its Game on?

(7) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 9:51 AM

There is nothing cuter than a baby orangutan with its tussle of red hair bedecking a mostly bald head and big brown inquisitive eyes sparkling with wisdom, curiosity, and soulfulness. Visiting orangutans in the wilds of Borneo or Sumatra tops my bucket list and it is clear I am running...

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USA 5 : China 1 : Africa 0. It's Time to Get Our Game On

(22) Comments | Posted June 7, 2011 | 11:21 AM

Team China has exactly one objective in Africa: the Chinese want to capture as much of the natural resource base as is possible to continue to fuel China's economic growth. Because the Chinese are singularly focused on this objective, they are incredibly efficient. Their development policy, their trade policy, their...

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Look out! Here Comes the Mom Bandwagon

(2) Comments | Posted May 3, 2011 | 12:00 PM

Investing in women is one of the smartest ways to reduce poverty and improve return on invested philanthropic dollars. This news is starting to make its way into the mainstream. As nonprofits recognize that the idea of investing in women resonates with donors -- especially the multitude of female donors...

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Why We Need to Engage Women in Issues of War, Hunger, Environment

(5) Comments | Posted April 23, 2011 | 1:05 PM

The Obama administration reportedly says we can no longer make women's rights a priority in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush says we have to stay and fight in Afghanistan to help women gain rights.

While the fighting over the fighting in Afghanistan continues, it's...

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What Does Rape Have To Do With Trees?

(6) Comments | Posted November 29, 2010 | 3:24 PM

What does rape have to do with trees? What does HIV have to do with fish? Blindness with water? Everything. Especially if you are a woman in the developing world and you are trying to feed your family.

Let me give you three examples of the links...

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Let's Try Something New: Engage Women, Drive Change

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 5:01 PM

Research demonstrates that including women dramatically enhances biodiversity conservation outcomes and human well being. That is a buzz-wordy way to say that by forgetting women, we are wasting time and money and jeopardizing the long term existence of the world's natural resources. And yet the conservation community, as a whole,...

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The Walk For Water - It's a Girl Thing

(3) Comments | Posted June 29, 2010 | 2:40 PM

I went for a jog today. If you knew me, you would understand the significance of that statement. I fundamentally despise jogging. But I was having a rough day and needed to off some stress. Five minutes down the trail and my lungs were burning. Not that good 'I am...

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First Thing's First, Make the World a Better Place

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2010 | 6:06 PM

It was an autumn day in the great Pacific Northwest and I was teaching my daughter Alex, an almost 5-year-old, how to ride a bike sans training wheels. We spent hours circling the lake, the leaves brown and red and crisp falling all around us. The sun warm, the air...

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