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Conservationist to Present at Dixie Forum

Conservationist to Present at Dixie Forum


Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Dixie State University's weekly lecture series "Dixie Forum: A Window on the World" will continue Tuesday, Jan. 27, with the presentation "Saving Nature, Including Great Apes, in Central Africa: A Conservationist's Personal Story." Robert Ford will speak from noon to 12:50 at the Dunford Auditorium in the Browning Resource Center on the DSU campus. Admission is free for all community members and DSU students, faculty and staff.

Ford, who has a master's degrees in public health and anthropology and a Ph.D in earth science/physical geography, has more than 35 years experience as a professor, administrator, field researcher, development consultant and conservation scientist.

While doing 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 Marshal Islands, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Belize, Peru, Bolivia, China and elsewhere. Learn more about Ford at

Dixie Forum 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 the Gardner Center Ballroom on campus. The forum will resume Tuesday, Feb. 10, when a group of DSU professors will present on efforts the university is making in Tanzania at noon in the Dunford Auditorium in the Browning Resource Center on the DSU campus.

For more information on Dixie State University's Dixie Forum series, please contact DSU Forum coordinator John Burns at 435-879-4712 or or visit