Dr. Birute Galdikas is a scientist, conservationist, and educator. For four decades, Dr. Galdikas has studied and worked closely with the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo in their natural habitat, and is today the world’s foremost authority on the orangutan. She has worked closely with her mentor and colleague, famous Kenyan anthropologist, Dr. Louis Leakey.
She has served as a Senior Advisor to Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry on orangutan issues. In 1997, she won the prestigious “Kalpataru” award, the highest honor given by the Republic of Indonesia for outstanding environmental leadership. She is the only person of non-Indonesian birth and one of the first women to be so recognized by the Indonesian government.
Dr. Galdikas has been featured on National Geographic, and is the author of scores of scientific articles and reviews. She has appeared in numerous television documentaries, such as, CBC’s The Third Angel, Connie Chung’s, Eye to Eye, and In the Wild, with Julia Roberts. One of her most recent documentaries is the IMAX film, Born to be Wild 3D, narrated by Morgan Freeman.