Johnson-Groh Receives Fulbright Award

Posted on April 21st, 2009 by

Cindy Johnson-Groh

Cindy Johnson-Groh

Cindy Johnson-Groh, professor of biology and environmental studies as well as executive director of the Linnaeus Arboretum at Gustavus Adolphus College, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and conduct research in Tanzania during the 2009-10 academic year.

“Tanzania has been in my heart,” said Johnson-Groh. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to do a project that I feel strongly about.”

Johnson-Groh will teach courses on subjects such as conservation biology, plant systematics, organismal biology, and plant ecology. In addition to her teaching duties, Johnson-Groh will conduct research for a book on the natural history and conservation biology of Tanzania. She intends the book to serve as a textbook for short-term travel courses, as an introduction for longer courses, and as a helpful handbook for tourists and guides in the ecotourism and safari industry.

“Much of what is known about Tanzanian natural history is not published in a form accessible to students or tourists,” Johnson-Groh said. “So I hope that by synthesizing existing literature, interviewing Tanzanian biologists, and acquiring photographs that I will be able to give readers a background on the natural history and conservation biology of Northern Tanzania and enable them to understand how the various components of the ecosystem interact to create this amazing place.”

Tanzania is the 27th largest country in the world at just under 365,000 square miles. The population of Tanzania is around 40 million people. The geography and environment of northern Tanzania provides an ideal ecosystem for a conservation biologist like Johnson-Groh.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is situated in the northeast part of the country. Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, sits on the northwest border of Tanzania. The Serengeti Plains, also located in northern Tanzania, hosts approximately 70 large mammals and some 500 avifauna species, as well as the largest and longest overland migration of wildebeests in the world.

Johnson-Groh has taken seven different Gustavus classes to Tanzania during the College’s January Interim Experience term. She was the recipient of the 2003 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching — the highest teaching award presented by the College. She is also a past recipient of the Swenson-Bunn Award for Teaching, chosen annually by Gustavus students.

Johnson-Groh is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad though the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. The Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Since its establishment in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided approximately 286,500 people with the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic, educational, and cultural institutions, to exchange ideas and to embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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