Dr. Thomas is Director of the New Jersey School of Conservation. He has a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Arizona State University. His research interests include conservation/sustainable use and traditional ecological wisdom of indigenous people. Dr. Thomas has been recognized by the United Nations for the development of research methodologies in the use of indigenous knowledge. UNESCOï¾‘s Management of Social Transformations Program (MOST) has recognized Dr. Thomas for his development of one of the planetï¾’s ï¾“Best Practices Using Indigenous Knowledge.ï¾”ï¾ In addition to being innovative, these Best Practices were chosen for their potential to make a difference and inspire others to develop sustainable use strategies for the environment. Since1988, he has conducted ethno-ecological research in Papua New Guinea. Dr. Thomas hopes that by exposing conservationists to the possibilities of indigenous knowledge, they will be more willing to adopt local models of sustainability and involve local people in the conservation of their lands. He is currently working with Conservation International to develop a "Forest Stewards" program to conserve the largest and least explored wilderness in New Guinea.