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This profile was last updated on 9/2/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Benjamin B. Beck

Wrong Dr. Benjamin B. Beck?

Key Education Advisor, Conservati...

Earthpark Development LLC
Phone: (515) ***-****  HQ Phone
1533 Linden Street Ste 200
Des Moines , Iowa 50309
United States

Company Description: EarthparkÔ will provide an unparalled opportunity for experiencing and learning about the intricacies and wonders of nature. Earthpark will inspire generations to...   more

Employment History

  • Partner
  • Conservation Director
  • Scientist
  • Director of Conservation
    Great Ape Trust of Iowa
  • Associate Director for Biological Programs
    the Smithsonian National Zoo
  • Associate Director and Curator
    the Smithsonian National Zoo
  • Associate Director for Animal Programs
    the Smithsonian National Zoo
  • Director of the Area Conservation Program
  • Coordinator of the Area Conservation Program
  • U.S. Director of the Area Conservation Program

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • PhD
    University of Chicago
  • MA
    Boston University
  • Ph.D. Director of Conservation Great Ape Trust/Earthpark
200 Total References
Web References
Earthpark - USA | Earthpark Development Team, 2 Sept 2014 [cached]
Ben Beck
Dr. Ben Beck Conservation Programming A noted scientist and widely published author, Ben is Director of Conservation for Great Ape Trust of Iowa. He also directs the Gishwati Area Conservation Program, which is creating the first national conservation park in Rwanda. A comparative psychologist by training, Ben was a research curator at Chicago's Brookfield zoo for more than a decade and later associate director and curator of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. for another 20 years. During that latter period he served on the negotiating committee that brought giant pandas to the zoo from China. Ben also coordinated the successful reintroduction of golden lion tamarins into the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil.
'Forest of Hope' teaches Rwandan youths about great ape conservation, 18 June 2009 [cached]
The futures of the students and the chimpanzees are closely tied, according to Dr. Benjamin Beck, director of conservation at Great Ape Trust, a partner with Earthpark and the Rwandan government in the Gishwati Area Conservation Program, an ambitious reforestation project and ecological research effort in what was once Rwanda's second-largest forest.
"We cannot save the chimpanzees and their habitat without also helping the local people living near the forests," Beck said.
"She has become a heroine, a role model, and some of the students have said they want to be her assistants," Beck said.
Located near the equator, Rwanda is "breathtakingly beautiful," Beck said. The Gishwati Forest yields views of Lake Kivu, one of Great Lakes of Africa and the largest of numerous freshwater bodies in the valleys of Rwanda, and the mountains of Democratic Republic of Congo.
Meeting the needs will cost about $250,000, expenses that were neither anticipated nor budgeted, Beck said. Great Ape Trust is seeking partners to assist in the school project, Beck emphasized.
The birth of an infant chimpanzee, the first born since the beginning of the Gishwati Area Conservation Program, is encouraging on several fronts, according to Dr. Benjamin Beck, Great Ape Trust's director of conservation. The chimpanzee population in the small remnant forest has grown from 12 to 14; an adult female that had not been recognized before has been identified; the small population is actively reproducing, and the Gishwati Forest is once again a place where a female can raise a baby. Watch video here >
The Ankeny students wrote a letter to the Kinihira students that Beck and Ted Townsend, founder of Great Ape Trust and Earthpark, also a partner along with the Rwandan government in the Gishwati Area Conservation Program, hand-delivered during a recent two-week trip to Rwanda to further the project's goals.
Beck and Townsend brought back to Iowa letters to the Ankeny students and teachers expressing interest in solidifying the bonds of an international friendship.
In discussing the differences, "the students just focused on the similarities in their lives and read about each other with interest and fascination," Beck said. "It's easy for adults to make more of the dramatic cultural contrasts than the kids do. For them, it's kids communicating with kids, with no value judgments or aspirations to become westernized."
The relationship between the schools in Iowa and Rwanda is still informal, but Beck said there are many similarities that make a formal friendship between the schools possibility. Rwanda has adopted English as its official language, and the students speak English in the classroom and elsewhere, except for some use of the mother tongue, Kinya Rwanda, in casual conversations. The students are in class for 10 and one-half hours each day, Monday through Friday.
"The big question is," Beck said, "where do we go from here?"
Great Ape Trust | Gishwati Forest to Become Rwanda National Park, Great Ape Trust Concludes Successful Initiative, 12 Dec 2011 [cached]
Great Ape Trust and Earthpark Founder, Ted Townsend tours Gishwati Forest in late 2007 with Rwandan officials and Dr. Benjamin Beck, the Trust's conservation director.
GACP's Dr. Ben Beck said, "you can't save chimpanzees without helping people and you can't help people without saving chimpanzees." Here, GACP's first meeting with Gishwati area villagers.
"To a conservationist, nothing can be more satisfying than the restoration of a damaged ecosystem and its designation as a national park that will secure its biodiversity in perpetuity," said Dr. Benjamin Beck, conservation director of Great Ape Trust, which directs and supports GACP.
Beck, Clay and Trust director of communications Al Setka will continue to provide advice.
It's bigger, richer and better understood than it was just four years ago," Beck said.
Board of Directors - Save the Golden Lion Tamarin, 14 Oct 2013 [cached]
Exclusive Interview with Novelist Ben Beck! Friends and Partners
Benjamin B. Beck Assistant Treasurer and Founding Director Ben is currently consulting, teaching and writing, having served as Director of Conservation of the Great Ape Trust and coordinator of the Gishwati Area Conservation Program in Rwanda until the end of 2011. more>
Exclusive Interview with Novelist Ben ..., 23 May 2013 [cached]
Exclusive Interview with Novelist Ben Beck! Friends and Partners
Ben Beck's GLT Novel Now Available
GLT Scientist and SGLT Board Member Ben Beck has written an engaging novel entitled Thirteen Gold Monkeys, a vivid and authentic story about the efforts to save this beautiful species from extinction by reintroducing zoo-born GLTs to their native habitat in Brazil.
Ben has donated an autographed copy of this book to the National Zoo's ZooFari auction (open now through May 12), to be accompanied by a personal appearance and book signing at an event chosen by the highest bidder.
Autographed Copy Of THIRTEEN GOLD MONKEYS And Appearance By Author Ben Beck
Benjamin Beck
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