Conservationist lectures on ‘Saving Nature, Including Great Apes, in Central Africa’

Photo of dixie forum presenter Robert Ford, undated | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News
Photo of Dixie Forum presenter Robert Ford, undated | Photo courtesy of Dixie State University, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University’s weekly lecture series “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World” will continue Tuesday with a presentation by conservationist Robert Ford titled “Saving Nature, Including Great Apes, in Central Africa: A Conservationist’s Personal Story.”

Ford will speak from noon-12:50 p.m. at the Dunford Auditorium in the Browning Resource Center on the DSU campus, 225 S. 700 East in St. George. Admission is free and open to all.

Ford has a master’s degree in public health and anthropology and a doctorate in earth science/physical geography. He has more than 35 years experience as a professor, administrator, field researcher, development consultant and conservation scientist.

While conducting field research on the Sahelian drought and famine of West Africa in the mid-1970s, Ford discovered that linking Geographic Information Systems to photographs was crucial in the task of documenting, understanding and interpreting short-term and long-term change and the interactions between human society and the broader environment.

Furthermore, he uses social media to promote positive change and policy development on the wide range of global sustainability issues he works on.

From 1999 to 2003, Ford was a senior natural resource policy adviser for USAID in Washington, D.C. He returned to academia from 2003 to 2007, working primarily on biodiversity assessments in Honduras.

In 2008, he served as an adviser to the UAE/Abu Dhabi Environment Agency before going to Rwanda for a year to fill the role of senior adviser to the director of the Center for GIS and Remote Sensing.

In January 2010, he volunteered for six months as interim program director to the Grauer’s Gorilla Landscape Conservation and Development Program for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, working out of its base in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ford has carried out conservation science and park management consulting and planning for the Frankfurt Zoological Society in Congo, Malawi, Haiti, Pakistan, Ghana, Eritrea, Gabon, the Marshall Islands, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Belize, Peru, Bolivia, China and elsewhere.

About Dixie Forum

“Dixie Forum: A Window on the World” is a lecture series designed to introduce the St. George community and DSU students, faculty and staff to diverse ideas and personalities while widening their worldviews via a 50-minute presentation. The weekly series will be on recess next week, as the community is invited to attend the university’s strategic planning meeting from noon to 2 p.m. in the Gardner Center Ballroom on campus.

The remainder of the spring Dixie Forum schedule is below.
  • Jan. 27 | Bob Ford | “Saving Nature, Including Great Apes, in Central Africa: A Conservationist’s Personal Story”
  • Feb. 3 | No forum
  • Feb. 10 | DSU Tanzania Group (Eric Pedersen, Glenn Webb, Sandy Wilson, Matt Morin, Kathy Rasmussen) | DSU’s activities and efforts in Tanzania
  • Feb. 17 | No forum (President’s Day)
  • Feb. 24 | L’Deane Trueblood | Fine art sculpture
  • Mar. 3 | Stephen Armstrong and the Undergraduate Research Committee | Undergraduate research
  • Mar. 10 | No forum (Spring Break)
  • Mar. 17 | Tinh Mahoney, presenting “Cultural Understanding Through the Arts”
  • Mar. 24 | Caitlin Horrocks and Todd Kaneko | Poetry
  • Mar. 31 | Ross D. Parke, presenting “Fatherhood: Remembering the Past, Imagining the Future”
  • Apr. 7 | Josh Udall | Cotton genomics and DNA sequencing
  • Apr. 14 | David Wolske, creative director of Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press | Typography and design
  • Apr. 21 | Rico E. Del Sesto, Tracey O’Kelly, and the Sustainability Committee | Earth Day

Event details and resources

  • What: “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World”
  • When: Tuesday, Jan. 27, at noon
  • Where: Dunford Auditorium, Browning Resource Center, Dixie State University campus, 225 S. 700 East, St. George
  • Contact: John Burns | Telephone: 435-879-4712 | Email: burns@dixie.edu
  • Dixie forum website
  • Robert Ford website

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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