Conservation Expedition

BUFFALO, NY – Members of the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation (CAC) program at Canisius followed in the footsteps of renowned primatologist Jane Goodall on a recent educational trip to Tanzania, East Africa.  Four Canisius students made the 14-day trip with Michael Noonan, PhD, chair of the Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation Program Program at Canisius College. The students include:    

  • Kalina Bracco ’15, a junior animal behavior, ecology and conservation (ABEC) major
  • Elizabeth George ’15, a junior ABEC and biology major
  • Natalie Roberts ’16, a sophomore ABEC major
  • Kelsey Trump  ’15, a junior ABEC and biology major

Students observed chimpanzees and other wildlife in Mahale National Park and Gombe National Park. Both parks house chimpanzee research stations, which have been instrumental to many landmark studies of chimpanzees, including studies by Jane Goodall.  Now back in Western New York, the students are working together to create a booklet that will introduce children to this very important species, and to the ways that all of us can participate in conservation.  Click here to enjoy more pictures from the CAC trip to Tanzania.

Goodall, who established the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in 1977, is best known for her study of chimpanzee social and family life.  She is recognized as a global leader in the effort to protect the primates and their habitats.  Goodall spoke at Canisius College in April 2010. 

The Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation takes a select number of college students to distant locations to study wildlife and conservation issues, first-hand.  Upon their return, students produce pro-conservation, educational resources about the ecosystems they studied, which they present at nearby zoological institutions, and in the classrooms of local middle and high school students.  The Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation has reached more than 500,000 individuals while promoting wildlife conservation throughout the community. 

Since it was established in 1999, CAC students have traveled to Pacific Rim National Park and British Columbia to conduct in-depth, on-site studies of seals, sea lions, dolphins, orcas and gray whales, and the threats to these marine mammals posed by ship traffic, over fishing and water pollution.  CAC students also traveled to Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Thailand to study conservation issues related to the Asian elephant. 

Their findings are chronicled in an award-winning DVD produced under Noonan’s direction.  Elephas Maximus: The biology and conservation of the Asian elephant is a video documentary that details the Asian elephant’s dependence on plants and the land that supports them.  The DVD was distributed nationally to middle and high school libraries, and was named “Film of the Year” by the Animal Behavior Society.  It was also a finalist for the Telly Awards (education category); it received an award of distinction at the Videographer Awards (education category); and it won a gold Aurora Award for Issues Awareness, in the documentary category for nature/environment. 

To learn more about the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation Program, click here.

To learn more about the Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation Program, click here.

Canisius is one of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation and the premier private university in Western New York.