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UW Zoology Professor Goheen Noted for Internationalization Work

March 2, 2017
man at podium with microphone
UW Department of Zoology and Physiology Associate Professor Jake Goheen is the recipient of the Faculty Award for Internationalization. (Adam Herrera Photo)

Jake Goheen’s continuing work with the people and endangered animal species of Kenya has earned him the University of Wyoming’s Faculty Award for Internationalization.

Every year, the UW International Board of Advisors and the International Programs Office recognize individuals who have significantly contributed to internationalization and the promotion of global awareness at the university.

Goheen, an associate professor in the UW Department of Zoology and Physiology, says the research projects that he works on with students range from conserving the world’s most endangered antelope, to reducing livestock depredation by lions, to understanding how elephants transform savannas following invasions of a nonnative insect. He has conducted field work in Kenya since 2002.

His work has included the development of field courses for UW and Kenyan undergraduates and the establishment of endowed funds to support African students working with wild animals through the American Society of Mammologists.

Goheen also has created and maintained a long-term ecological experiment with his Kenyan partners.

“His development of a training program has brought Kenyan students to UW for short-term training while sending UW students to Kenya,” says Daniel Doak, professor at the University of Colorado.

Goheen also has received praise from a UW colleague.

“His commitment to international works is such that, for a while, he funded it out of his own pocket,” says Carlos Martinez del Rio, professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology. “He is an exceptional scholar who combines deep knowledge and analytical skill with a desire to solve important management and conservation problems.”

The positive impact of Goheen’s work and his commitment to serving diverse communities have not gone unnoticed by other professionals working in Africa.

“He has a personal commitment and motivation to provide substantive training opportunities to talented nationals from the developing world,” says Abdullahi Ali, director and founder of Hirola Conservation Program and a UW doctoral student. “During his visits to Kenya, he put his life on the line and traveled with us to areas close to the Somalia border, which is infamous for tribal conflicts and abductions of foreign nationals for ransom.”

Goheen has become a bridge builder between research in Africa and UW. He has helped mentor students from Africa, and he has supported UW students to travel to Africa for research.

UW President Laurie Nichols commented that Goheen is an international leader in his field.

“He understands the positive impact that sustained international partnerships and high-level research have on raising the bar on global education at UW,” Nichols says.

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