Bill Durham, ’71, is an innovative researcher and teacher who has focused on two themes for most of his career: (1) on putting principles of evolution to work in understanding and sustaining biological and cultural diversity in the world today; and (2) on identifying the social dimensions of contemporary environmental problems and working with local people to help solve them. This work has taken him to fieldwork throughout Central and South America, and to selected sites in East Africa. Bill has received five awards for research and teaching at Stanford, including one by vote of the students, and was one of the first recipients of the MacArthur Prize Fellowship (1983).
In 1992, Professor Durham worked with Stanford Travel/Study to create a series of programs providing experiential learning for students in Sophomore College together with Stanford alumni. He travels to the Galápagos Islands almost every year with students and alumni and believes that educational travel is one of the most enriching experiences one can have. Professor Durham is author or editor of a good list of books including his latest, Exuberant Life: An Evolutionary Approach to Conservation in Galápagos, published in 2021. During this seminar in Tanzania, Bill will talk about the Rift Valley and its ecosystems, about the history of Protected Area conservation in global perspective, and about the decline in Black Rhinos and other big game animals of the East African savannah.
Governing Member, elected in 2023, the Charles Darwin Foundation of Galapagos
Senior Fellow and Co-director, Emeritus, of the Osa & Golfito Sustainability Initiative in Costa Rica, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford
Former Director, Program in Human Biology, and former Chair, Department of Anthropological Sciences
Editor for sixteen years of the Annual Review of Anthropology
Fellowships: Yang and Yamazaki University Fellow, MacArthur Prize, Harry Frank Guggenheim, California Academy of Sciences, Danforth Foundation and National Science Foundation
Teaching awards: Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel, Walter J. Gores, ASSU, Rhodes, Bing Fellow, and Richard W. Lyman
BS, Biological Sciences, 1971, Stanford University
MS, Zoology, 1973, and PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1977, University of Michigan
Have a question for us?
Get in touch with someone at Travel/Study. Feel free to give us a call at (650) 725-1093 between 9am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.