Jared is a professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which won him a Pulitzer Prize as well as Britain's 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize.
Jared is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (Genius Award); research prizes and grants from the American Physiological Society, National Geographic Society, and Zoological Society of San Diego; and many teaching awards and endowed public lectureships. In addition, he has been elected a member of all three of the leading national scientific/academic honorary societies—National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Philosophical Society.
His field experience includes numerous expeditions to New Guinea and neighboring islands to study ecology and evolution of birds; the rediscovery of New Guinea's long-lost golden fronted bowerbird; and other field projects in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia. As a conservationist, he devised a comprehensive plan, almost all of which was implemented, for Indonesian New Guinea's national park system. He has also taken part in numerous field projects for the World Wildlife Fund. He is a founding member of the board of the Society of Conservation Biology and a member of the board of directors of World Wildlife Fund/USA and Conservation International.