Mass Audubon & Mongolia Timeline

Dornod Vista Mongolia © Chris Leahy
Photo: Chris Leahy

1982 Christopher Leahy, the former Gerard A. Bertrand Chair of Natural History and Field Ornithology at Mass Audubon, first visits Mongolia (then known officially as the Mongolian People's Republic and to much of the western world as Outer Mongolia) and is astonished by its spectacular natural wonders.
1983 Mass Audubon sponsors its first tour to Mongolia (including Siberia). It was a great adventure, but the Soviet travel system was too restrictive to return.
1990 Domination of Mongolia by the USSR ends and the country begins a rapid transition to a democratic form of government and a market economy.
1993 Chris Leahy returns to Mongolia to help scout potential for ecotourism. The 3-week adventure explores remote forests, steppes, lakes, and deserts that few Western eyes had seen. As a result of this scouting expedition, Mass Audubon and the fledgling company Nomadic Expeditions offers the first broad-based natural history tours to sample the major ecosystems of Mongolia.
2009 Mass Audubon launches a Mongolian conservation partnership with Nomadic Expeditions, Mongolia's premier tour operator and expedition outfitter. The program focuses on ecotourism, environmental education, interpretive publications, green building design, and earth-friendly operations.