Dr. Jake Owens

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Since 2014 I have been working to reintroduce giant pandas back into the wild as part of the Global Cause Science Team.

On an early autumn afternoon during the final months of my PhD, I received a phone call from Dr. Jim Spotila. He told me about an exciting opportunity to join the Global Cause team, where I could make a considerable impact on the conservation of giant pandas. A few months after that call, on March 6, 2014, I met my first panda, He Sheng, and any doubt I may have had about moving my life to the other side of the world melted away.

I’ve spent most of my life outdoors. Even as a toddler I was chasing snakes and lizards around the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia with my family. Throughout my young life, naturalism and science were always high on my list of priorities, so in undergrad I pursued a B.S. in biology. After finishing my bachelor’s at Stockton University, a small school in the New Jersey Pinelands, I participated in research projects around the globe, and completed my Ph.D. on primate ecology, behavior, and conservation at Drexel University. Although I never imagined myself here in China, working to save the giant pandas has been one of the most rewarding and exciting adventures of my life!

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