Achievement Award in the Sciences – Reunion 2003

Craig Stanford’s work has taken him a long way from New Jersey, and deep into relationships among apes and between apes and humans.

When Craig came to Drew from Roselle Park, New Jersey, he already knew that he wanted to study animal behavior, and that Drew offered the opportunities he needed.  Now, after years of experience at large universities, he is more than ever convinced that the best environment for learning and socializing is found at small liberal arts schools.  At Drew he majored in anthropology and zoology, and Lee Pollock, Leedom Lefferts, and Phil Peek became his mentors and role models.  Further study led to a master’s degree from Rutgers in 1980 and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1990.

After teaching at the University of Michigan from 1989 to 1991, Craig returned to the West Coast, joining the faculty of the University of Southern California.  He is now professor of anthropology and biological sciences, chairs the Department of Anthropology, and co-directs UCS’s Jane Goodall Research Center.  He has conducted field studies of primates in India, Bangladesh, Peru, Tanzania, and Uganda.  He is best know for his work in collaboration with Dr. Jane Goodall on the hunting behavior of wild chimpanzees, and he currently directs the Bwindi Impenetrable Great Ape Project in East Africa, a study of mountain gorillas and chimpanzees which includes a strong emphasis on conservation.  His publications include six books, the latest entitled Significant Others:  The Ape-Human Continuum and the Quest for Human Nature, and nearly 100 articles on his research on human origins and the behavior of the great apes.  He has received numerous research grants and teaching awards.

In addition to teaching and his usual twice-yearly visits to his research sites,  Craig’s main interest is his family, which he “tries hard to make the center of everything.”  Outdoor activities, especially camping and Little League, are important in his life.  His wife, Erin Moore, a former lawyer, is a cultural anthropologist at USC, and the family—including daughters Gaelen, 13, and Marika, 9, and son Adam, 6–has also accompanied her research trips, chiefly to India and Mexico.

Drewids should watch the coming issues of National Geographic, which sent writer Rick Gore to accompany Craig’s January 2003 trip to Uganda.  The story of Craig’s work on chimpanzees and gorillas will appear early in 2004.