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Destination: Galapagos Islands Cyber Field Trip

Meet the Expedition Team

The Frontiers Crew
Alan Alda, host
Graham Chedd, executive producer
Andrew Leibman, senior producer

The Scientists
Lynn Fowler, expedition leader
David Anderson, booby expert
Martin Wikelski, marine iguana expert

The Frontiers School Program Ambassadors
Sherri Steward, teacher
Mandy Williams, student

The Frontiers Crew

Alan Alda
Photo of Alan AldaScientific American Frontiers host Alan Alda is a five-time Emmy Award-winning actor, writer and director. He's also a life-long science buff who enjoys being actively involved with the series and the opportunities it presents to get to know some of the world's leading scientists. The 1999-2000 season is his seventh as host and, despite a crowded professional schedule, he has appeared in segments shot all over the United States and in Germany, Italy, South Africa, Central America, China and Scandinavia. "I'm having too much fun to stay home," Alda says. "I want to be where the scientists are."

Graham Chedd
Photo of Graham CheddA graduate of Cambridge University, Graham Chedd co-founded The Chedd-Angier Production Company in 1980 along with John Angier. The company devised the PBS science magazine series Discover: The World of Science, which in 1990 became Scientific American Frontiers. Graham currently executive produces Frontiers, and directs and writes many of its segments. His other credits include stints as science editor of the British weekly magazine New Scientist and as a consultant to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In that capacity, he helped found the weekly science television series NOVA, and became its first science editor. After producing several award-winning episodes of NOVA, Graham helped create the PBS series Odyssey and produced several of its programs. He has also produced episodes of the PBS series The Nuclear Age (1990) and Columbus and the Age of Discovery (1991). In 1993 he executive produced the eight-part PBS/BBC series The Secret of Life and produced two of its episodes.

Andrew Liebman
Photo of Andrew LiebmanAndrew Liebman is a Tufts University graduate and senior producer at The Chedd-Angier Production Company. He has produced over 80 segments for Frontiers and its predecessor, Discover: The World of Science. In March 1998, he organized the first live Frontiers webcast, From Mir to Mars, in which Alan Alda (on Earth) conducted a live interview with NASA astronaut Andy Thomas (on the Mir space station). Andrew has also written, produced and directed numerous documentary films for major PBS series, including Frontline, NOVA, Race to Save the Planet and The Secret of Life. Two of his films for Frontline -- "Sue the Doctor?" and "Cry, Ethiopia, Cry" -- won national Emmy awards, and one was awarded the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University award for excellence in broadcast journalism. Most recently, Andrew has coordinated all of Chedd-Angier's contacts with cable television -- developing new series and specials for A&E, The Discovery Channel and ESPN, including a two-hour special for the Discovery Channel called Destination: Mars.

The Scientists

Lynn Fowler
Photo of Lynn FowlerDr. Lynn Fowler is a naturalist who lead the Frontiers expedition to the Galapagos on behalf of Lindblad Special Expeditions, the company hosting Frontiers on this trip. She first visited Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in 1976 and was captivated by the fearless island inhabitants and the stark beauty of the volcanic archipelago. After receiving her master's degree in zoology from the University of Florida, studying sea turtles, she returned to the Galapagos and worked as one of the first female naturalist guides for the Charles Darwin Research Station. Her research projects have covered feral burros and giant tortoises of Volcan Alcedo on Isabela Island, as well as the rainforest white-lipped peccary.

Read Q & A with Lynn Fowler

David Anderson
Photo of David AndersonDavid Anderson is associate professor in the Department of Biology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Since 1984 he has conducted field research in the Galapagos Islands on boobies. David has found that boobies provide excellent opportunities for experimental approaches to issues in evolutionary and behavioral ecology because they are fearless of humans. They are also ideal for comparative studies since closely related species have different life histories. At Wake Forest University, David's laboratory's research focuses on the evolutionary and behavioral ecology of birds, particularly the evolution of reproductive life histories. David is also involved in conservation issues in the Galapagos through studies of the demography and genetics of threatened and endangered bird species. After receiving his undergraduate degree at Denison University, David earned an M.S. from the University of Michigan and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. For more about his research interests and a list of selected publications, please visit David's webpage at Wake Forest University.

Read Q & A with David Anderson

Martin Wikelski
Photo of Martin WikelsiMartin Wikelski is assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Ethology and Evolution at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and a member of the Charles Darwin Research Foundation. A native of Germany, Martin received a Master's degree from Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich and a Ph.D. from the University of Bielefeld in Germany. Martin has traveled to natural habitats on all five continents and the Pacific and Atlantic islands. Since 1989 his research has focused on the reproductive ecology of the Galapagos marine iguana. He has also studied the evolution of body size and the foraging ecology of this species. In addition to authoring numerous academic publications and articles in popular magazines, Martin is currently at work on a book on the evolutionary ecology of the Galapagos marine iguana. For more information about this famous reptile, visit Martin's webpage.

The Frontiers School Program Ambassadors

Sherri Steward
Photo of Sherri StewardSherri Steward, who served as a "cyber guide" to teachers and students throughout the expedition, is a biology and ecology teacher at Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas. The Galapagos trip was just one undertaking in her distinguished teaching career. She has previously been honored with a Presidential Award in 1994, was named Earth Teacher of the Year (1992) by Time magazine, and was awarded a 1989 GTE Growth Initiatives For Teachers (GIFT) grant fellowship. In addition to teaching at Grapevine High School, she directs her school district's environmental program, including the management of the EcoCenter Outdoor Learning Lab, an environmental education center that she and her students built. World-renowned biologist Jane Goodall attended the inauguration of the EcoLab and has since worked with Sherri to arrange internships for several of her students. Sherri also has extensive field experience, having worked with orangutans at a wildlife sanctuary in the Bornean rainforest and helped coordinate a relief effort to fight cholera in Zambia.

Read Q & A with Sherri Steward
Read Sherri Steward's Expedition Journal

Mandy Williams
Photo of Mandy WilliamsMandy Williams, a former student of Sherri Steward at Grapevine High School, is a freshman studying psychology and biology at the University of North Texas. While at Grapevine, she interned at the school district's EcoCenter Outdoor Learning Lab, where she taught elementary ecology classes, provided care to rescued wildlife and led field trips. She was one of four students in the U.S. selected to represent the Busch Gardens/Sea World "A Pledge and A Promise" national environmental award. She also recently led a student relief effort to assist in the fight against cholera at the Bauleni Primary School in Lusaka, Zambia. "I have a particular interest in and love for the Galapagos Islands and the majestic marine life that inhabits it, including my personal favorites, the sea turtles," says Mandy. "I believe that it is extremely important to reach children at a young and impressionable age to help them understand the importance of nature and the beauty of our planet's natural wildlife."

Read Q & A with Mandy Williams
Read Mandy Williams' Expedition Journal


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.