Dr. Rick Hopkins
Board President, Author and Cougar Field Researcher
Dr. Rick Hopkins is co-owner and Senior Conservation Biologist at Live Oak Associates, Inc., an ecological consulting firm in California. He holds a Ph.D. in Wildlands Resource Ecology from University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. in Biology at San Jose State where he conducted a 12-year study on the cougar in the Diablo Range.
While Dr. Hopkins is a broadly trained ecologist with experience with several wildlife species, he has dedicated the last 35 years to the study of mammalian carnivores. He has focused most of his research efforts on conservation biology; population ecology; movements of wildlife, particularly mammalian carnivores; conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife species; and the integration of robust spatial tools to focus conservation at landscape scales relevant to large carnivores (e.g., cougars).
Dr. Hopkins has participated in several efforts in California and throughout the region to identify the important landscape linkages for a number of target wildlife species. Presently he is using theoretically and statistically robust spatial tools in the development of a multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan for the 190 km2 Elk Hills Oil Field, a cougar habitat management plan for nearly 40,000-km2 region of Southern California, and developing conservation strategies for utility-scale solar projects in the central to southern San Joaquin Valley and Panoche Valley.
Dr. Hopkins has supervised interdisciplinary teams of biologists characterizing the biological setting of project sites and planning areas, determining project impacts, and developing conceptual mitigation plans consistent with the requirements of CEQA and NEPA for over 2000 projects during the last 22 years.