ANGOLA — Members of the Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation program at Canisius College followed in the footsteps of primatologist Jane Goodall on a recent educational trip to Tanzania, East Africa.
Kalina Bracco, a junior animal behavior, ecology and conservation major, was one of four Canisius students who made the 14-day trip with Michael Noonan Ph.D., professor of biology and chair of animal behavior, ecology and conservation at Canisius College. Bracco is a graduate of Lake Shore High School.
The group observed chimpanzees and other wildlife in Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream national parks. Both house chimpanzee research stations, which have been part of many chimpanzee studies, including those by Goodall.
Now back in Western New York, the students are working together to assemble a booklet that will introduce children to this species. Bracco said, “Many people today don’t realize how much of the world we share with other species. When you look into the eyes of a chimpanzee, you see more than just another animal. You feel this overwhelming sense of self; something unexplainable. There is a feeling of responsibility to conserve and protect our environment not only for us, but for other species such as chimpanzees that also call this planet their home.”
Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977 and studied chimpanzee social and family life. The primatologist spoke at Canisius College in April 2010.
The Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation takes college students to distant locations, to study wildlife and conservation issues. Students then produce 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 CAC has reached more than 500,000 individuals, while promoting wildlife conservation throughout the community.
For more information about the CAC program, visit www.canisius.edu/ishar/cac.asp.