Chestertown, MD, March 21, 2003 — The Washington College Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the McLain Program in Environmental Studies present “ORANGUTANS IN BORNEO: THE STATE OF THEIR WORLD 2003,” a lecture by Dr. Biruté M. F. Galdikas, president of the Orangutan Foundation International. The talk will be held Thursday, April 24 at 5 p.m. in the College's Hynson Lounge. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.
A world-renowned conservationist and orangutan researcher, Dr. Galdikas left the comforts of modern civilization in 1971 to venture into one of the earth's last wild places, the Tanjung Putting Reserve in Borneo, Indonesia, to study and help save orangutans and their endangered habitat. Through the support of her mentor, the famed anthropologist Dr. Louis Leakey, Dr. Galdikas undertook the first comprehensive study of the wild orangutan, and, by giving 30 years of her life to research and conservation, has helped create one of the last safe havens for orangutans in Borneo.
Featured twice on the cover of National Geographic and author of two books and over 50 scientific articles, Dr. Galdikas is recognized as one of the most important conservation and field researchers of this century. She has been featured in Life magazine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post and on numerous television documentaries. Her autobiography, Reflections of Eden: My Years with the Orangutans of Borneo, was published in 1995.
In 1986, Dr. Galdikas co-founded the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) in order to support her research and work in Borneo. Based in Los Angeles, OFI has established chapters in Australia, Indonesia, and the United Kingdom. Since 1971, she has lectured around the world, disseminating information and educational materials about the orangutan and its rainforest environment. Dr. Galdikas is extremely devoted to the Indonesian people and their culture, as well as to the protection of the rainforest and the welfare of orangutans everywhere, and she serves as the director of the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine Facility in Borneo.
Dr. Galdikas holds a Ph.D. from the University of California and has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including the prestigious “Kalpataru” award, the highest honor given by the Republic of Indonesia for outstanding environmental leadership and activity, as well as the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the United Nations Global 500 Environmental Award, the Sierra Club Chico Mendes Award, and the PETA Humanitarian Award.