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About Us And How We Are Making A Difference

Penguins International is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and protecting penguins throughout the world.

To accomplish our mission, we actively engage in penguin conservation, educate the public on threats to penguins, and conduct scientific research investigations; three activities that go hand-in-hand to fully understand these amazing species of birds and protect them for all to cherish.

Want detailed information about Penguins International? We’re on Guidestar.

Penguin Conservation

“Embracing penguin conservation is not just preserving one species, it’s safeguarding an integral thread in the tapestry of life that holds together Earth’s delicate ecosystems.”

-David Schutt, PhD (Founder of Penguins International)

There are currently 18 recognized species of penguins in the world and, sadly, 9 of these species are listed by IUCN Redlist as Threatened, meaning they are either Vulnerable or Endangered of becoming extinct. Our conservation efforts focus not only on protecting these threatened species of penguins, but also preserving all the penguins that are not in the threatened conservation categories.

Penguin conservation is a challenging task that involves not only traveling to far-off remote parts of the Earth to reach many of these penguin species, but also involves hard work promoting governmental policy changes and educating the general public that can help protect these penguins. We accomplish our mission through community education, field conservation, and scientific research.


Vulnerable or Endangered Species

That desperately need our help 

Focusing on

Best Practices for Penguin Conservation

We’re always working on new techniques to increase conservation of penguins. Our most recent work has demonstrated new less-invasive and non-invasive research techniques that allow for studying pollution exposure with minimal disruption to the penguins within the colony. This research is a win-win for both researchers and penguins alike!

Our Board of Directors

Photograph of Alex Mehos
Co-President and Secretary, Board of Directors

Alexa Mehos

Alexa Mehos is a non-profit finance professional with extensive experience in the sustainability and socioenvironmental justice sectors, much of which she gained studying, volunteering and working abroad in Uganda, Ghana, Italy, Morocco, Thailand, Burma, Palau, Peru and South Africa. Origionally from Boulder, Colorado, she currently works as a Grants and Contracts Manager for Conservation International in Washington DC, managing the financial and administrative oversight of a large and diverse portfolio of projects across five programs.

In her free time, Alexa is usually found in the woods hunting for wild mushrooms and plants, playing with plant dyes and sewing clothes, experimenting in the kitchen with novel ingredients, or getting centered in a yoga class amidst the bustle of DC life.

Photograph of Mike Rueb at the South Pole
Co-President, Board of Directors

Mike Rueb

Mike Rueb is an energetic powerhouse of digital marketing knowledge and technical skills. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University before going on to earn a Master of Business Administration from University of Colorado. He has an extremely varied background. He worked on four different continents including Peace Corps in Botswana and the South Pole, before finally landing at Booyah Advertising. Now as an Account Manager, Mike handles daily optimizations, campaign strategy, budget management, and reporting going above and beyond to ensure clients’ satisfaction and results.

He is inspired through his work with non-profits here at Booyah and has developed a proficiency at managing grants from Google and Twitter. When he is not working you will find him enjoying live music or skiing.

Tim Krebs
Treasurer, Board of Directors

Tim Krebs

Tim is an energy executive that has participated in mergers, acquisitions, and capital raising in both the public and private markets. Tim is the Chief Financial Officer of Wolf Resources, an energy investment company. Prior to Wolf, Tim worked in New York City as an investment banker. Tim holds an MBA from Fordham University, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Outside of work, Tim and his wife have traveled to six continents to see animals. Favorites include jaguars in Brazil, cassowaries in Australia and African Penguins in Capetown.
Photograph of Lauren Connor
Board Member

Lauren Connor

Lauren Connor is a GIS Analyst and former Marine Mammalogist whose background consists of diverse experience in GIS analysis, remote sensing, and marine biology. Lauren’s career journey has led her to some amazing opportunities; studying population abundance of Humpback Dolphins in Western Australia, as well as using satellite imagery to better understand population estimates of Emperor Penguins colonies. She received her BA from Florida Atlantic University in Geography with minors in GIS Analysis and Environmental Science and just recently graduated from Unity College with an MS in Environmental GIS Science. Lauren is passionate about understanding remote areas and species around the world that are most affected by climate change.

During her downtime, Lauren enjoys live music, snowboarding, cooking, hiking with her three dogs, and traveling to new places.

Researcher with penguins
Board Member

David Schutt, PhD

Also serving Penguins International as Executive Director, David is the founder of Penguins International and remains on the Board as a non-voting Member. David is committed to conserving all 18 species of penguins around the world.
Board Member

Paula Roth

Paula grew up in Denver, Colorado where she was raised by parents with a sense of adventure. That led to her passion for the outdoors and her decision to pursue a degree in Natural Resource Management at Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood Springs. Later she transferred and graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelors Degree in Forestry.
After moving back to Denver and working in conservation and animal rescue (another true passion) she found that philanthropic work was where she belonged. Aside from her full time job at PBS12 Public Television, Paula also volunteers for Freedom Service Dogs, Colorado Beagle Rescue, the ASPCA and works as a Keeper Assistant at the Denver Zoo.

Paula is responsible for strategizing with businesses and organizations to support PBS12-Colorado Public Television through corporate sponsorships of programming and special events. She also plans, promotes and executes the station’s fundraising concert events held at such venues as The Paramount Theater, Red Rocks, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Paula also serves on the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Board of Governors.

Photograph of Andrew Ogden
Board Member

Andrew Ogden

Andrew G. Ogden is a public interest attorney, author and educator specializing in representing citizen groups in public interest litigation involving imperiled wildlife and habitat protection, and consulting on ecosystem restoration projects. Previously, Mr. Ogden was the Senior Attorney & Legal Program Director at Turtle Island Restoration Network, an oceans and coastal watershed conservation organization located in Forest Knolls CA. In private practice, Mr. Ogden has represented a wide variety of not-for-profit entities, individuals and businesses primarily in natural resource, public lands, administrative law and litigation matters, as well as business, real estate and tax matters.

Andrew is an experienced backcountry ski guide and certified avalanche safety course instructor. He has also guided numerous bird and wildlife viewing trips in Alaska, primarily in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Andrew is also an avid surfer and scuba diver. Andrew lives in Boulder CO with his wife, Janet, who together get out of town and into nature as much as possible.

Our Team

David Schutt, PhD

Executive Director

David Schutt has spent six seasons with penguins in such places as Antarctica, New Zealand, South America and various sub-Antarctic islands. After first stepping foot on the Antarctic continent in 2001, David knew that polar wildlife conservation would be a life-long endeavor. Focusing on seabirds of the Southern Hemisphere, David quickly developed a passion for helping penguins, with ongoing projects working directly with penguins since 2012. His time in the wilderness in Antarctica, combined with an active role in the local Denver film community, has allowed David to hone his photo and video skills with several of his videos featured on major networks such as Nat Geo WILD, MTV, and Discovery Channel.
David’s passion for conserving and protecting penguins stems from his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Environmental Biology, and his PhD in Environmental Health. It was from a second bachelor’s degree in Marketing, however, where he developed an enthusiasm for connecting with the public and driving an emotional response to conservation needs. The combination of these interests led him to found Penguins International and dedicate himself to protecting endangered species. Besides traveling around the world to study penguins, David’s adventurous side leads him on trips to explore new countries with his family, and in his free time he enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, racquetball, hockey, and spending as much time as possible with his wife and son.

Katie Propp

Chief Operations Officer (COO)

Katie Propp is an accomplished conservation professional with a passion for wildlife and strong
background in management. As the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Penguins International,
she plays a crucial role in overseeing the organization’s day-to-day activities and ensuring its
mission is carried out effectively.

With a deep appreciation for nature and a commitment to protecting endangered species, Katie
has dedicated her career to the conservation of wildlife and wild places. Katie’s decade of
experience in polar science, technology, cultural institutions, and leadership gives her a solid
foundation in understanding how to drive global action on behalf of penguins and our Blue

Katie’s early involvement in local environmental initiatives launched her into the non-profit
sector. Working within environmental commissions, zoological communities, and educational
institutions allowed her to quickly rise through the ranks. Her exceptional organizational skills,
strategic thinking, and unwavering determination to make a positive impact fuel her path to
make a difference. Her ability to streamline processes, optimize resources, and foster strong
partnerships led her to be recognized as a rising star in the conservation community.
As the COO of Penguins International, Katie leads a team of professionals who share her
passion and dedication. She spearheads the development and implementation of strategic
plans to further the organization’s conservation goals. Her expertise in operations management
allows her to effectively allocate resources, monitor budgets, and ensure the efficient execution
of projects and programs.

Katie’s collaborative nature and excellent interpersonal skills enable her to build and maintain
relationships with key stakeholders, including international conservation organizations,
scientific researchers, local communities, and government agencies. By fostering partnerships
and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, she works tirelessly to advocate for the
protection of penguin species, promote sustainable practices, and raise public awareness about
the importance of wildlife conservation.

Jessica Caton Diefenbach

Communications and Development Specialist

Bio coming soon, stay tuned.
Little Penguin

Luke Isakson

Director of Strategy and Project Management

Bio coming soon!

Stacy Johnson

Stacy Johnson was a zoologist for 22 years, working for various AZA accredited zoos around the United States as an animal keeper and manager. She has worked with a wide variety of animals, from frogs to giraffes, but birds have always been her passion and specialty. Stacy has provided field support to several conservation organizations around the world working with black-footed albatross, Bonin’s petrels, Tristram’s storm-petrels, African penguins, white-backed vultures, cape vultures and several other species of African vultures. While Stacy is no longer in the zoo field, she remains passionate about birds and their conservation efforts.