[2015] Hannah Momblanco (2014-15 Women in Sci, 2015-16 Global Lit 8th gr): Birute Galdikas

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[2015] Hannah Momblanco (2014-15 Women in Sci, 2015-16 Global Lit 8th gr): Birute Galdikas

Birute Galdikas

Birute Galdikas was born on May 10, 1946 in Wiesbaden, Germany. She is currently 69 years old. She is a primatologist who specializes in orangutans and worked along side the famous Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey.

All About Birute


When Galdikas was 2 years old she moved from Germany to Toronto, Canada. She is the oldest of 4 children. Even as a child, Birute loved all things nature like books and walks in the park. Her family moved again so that Birute could go to UCLA in California.


When Birute first read the Curious George books when she was 6 years old she got very inspired by the characters especially the man in the yellow hat. Already,only in the 2nd grade, Birute decided she wanted to be an Primatologist.


In 1964 her family moved to United States after her first year of college in Canada. When she came to the U.S. she studied at UCLA in California and soon received a bachelor's degree in both zoology and psychology. She earned her masters degree in anthropology 3 years later. This is when Galdikas first ran into Kenyan anthropologist Louis Leakey. She first spoke to him about her dream to help, save, and study orangutans.

Living In the Forest

After 3 years of pursuading, Dr. Louis Leakey finally agreed to fund Galdikas's research. Galdikas and her first husband headed out to the rainforests of Borneo, Indonesia. There were many challanges living in the rainforest like toxic plants, bloodsucking leeches, and hot and humid tempereatures. These challenges may have slowed Birute down but did not stop her. While there, she started an organization called "Camp Leakey" which helped to support orangutans around the world.

Resarch & Accomplishments

She worked so hard to save and protect orangutans and raise awereness. Birute documented over 400 different foods in the orangutans' diet. She published 4 books and was in many newspapers and magazines, like a cover story in National Geographic. Galdikas was also a mentor for hundreds of young scientists. Birute has won many awards such as:-Tyler prize-Indonesia's Hero for the Earth-Kalpataru award-Gold Medal for Conservation-More than one Jubilee medals-Made an appearance on the tv show Good Morning America

Galdikas has studied orangutans longer than any other person in the world.


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