MacArthur Fellows Program

George Archibald

Ornithologist | Class of March 1984

Baraboo , Wisconsin
38 at time of award
Published March 1, 1984

About George's Work

George Archibald is an ornithologist and conservationist dedicated to preserving the world’s fifteen crane species and the wetland and grassland ecosystems on which they depend.

His work centers on the captive breeding, scientific study, and conservation of the endangered cranes.  He has coordinated conservation efforts among countries as politically diverse as North and South Korea, the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, China, Iran, South Africa, and twenty other African nations.  He is credited with building the world’s largest and most complete collection of cranes.


Archibald is the chairman of the board of directors of the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin, an organization he co-founded in 1973 with fellow ornithologist, Ronald Sauey.  He spends a third of his time in Asia working to build grassroots support for the preservation of the cranes.  He is also a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission, and he has been the subject of numerous television, radio, and newspaper features.

Archibald received a B.S. (1968) from Dalhousie University and a Ph.D. (1971) from Cornell University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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