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Released April 19, 2004



HATTIESBURG - Jeanne McCarty says the education she received from The University of Southern Mississippi is the cornerstone of the skills she uses daily to promote her passion for the environment and for animals.

As director of the Jane Goodall Institute's Roots and Shoots program, McCarty, a 1991 Southern Miss graduate, says her academic preparation in a broad-based academic program provided through the Southern Miss Honors College helps her design and implement programs for youth who participate in Roots and Shoots.

"The Honors College helped me integrate history, philosophy, English and science," she said. "It gave me an interdisciplinary (focus), and in Roots and Shoots, it's the same thing. We include all academic disciplines (in implementing the program)."

Roots and Shoots helps youth organize to learn about their communities and plan and implement projects to promote care and concern for people, animals and the environment. McCarty, who joined Goodall in Hattiesburg Wednesday during a visit to the Southern Miss campus, said there are 2,000 Roots and Shoots groups in the United States and 4,500 worldwide. Goodall, long famous for her research on chimpanzees in Africa, started Roots and Shoots in Tanzania in 1991.

McCarty said she became familiar with Roots and Shoots while teaching at the University of Maryland, where she said community service learning had become an integral part of the school's academic programs. She went to work for Goodall four years ago.

"She is someone I've always admired, and I learned about the program while helping students link their academic majors to their commitments to what they wanted to do for their communities and professions," McCarty said.

Goodall praised McCarty's energy and passion. "She's the perfect director for Roots and Shoots," she said. "Jeanne has enormous enthusiasm. She just gets on (gets along) with people so. She's a kid at heart, so that makes it easy for her to work with those involved in the program."

While at Southern Miss, McCarty was awarded the William Colmer Fellowship in American Studies. During her junior year, Jeanne participated in Southern Miss's exchange program with The University of Wales, Swansea, where she studied history and American studies. Following her return to Southern Miss, Jeanne was named "Best Citizen" and she graduated summa cum laude in August 1991. She is the daughter of Dr. Kenneth McCarty, professor emeritus of history and editor of The Journal of Mississippi History; and Sylvia McCarty, a retired faculty member of Southern Miss's English Language Institute. Jeanne is engaged to Jason Hewitt (Southern Miss '93), an attorney in Washington, D.C.


OCEAN SPRINGS -- Award-winning wildlife photographer Tom Ulrich will lead two photographic events at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory on Wednesday, March 10.

He will present a nature photography workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and then a talk and slide show called "Wildlife Images 2003" at 7 p.m., both at The University of Southern Mississippi GCRL.

Admission to the evening event is free and will be held in the Caylor Auditorium at GCRL. The veteran photographer will feature photos from his 2003 photographic safaris abroad and in North America. He will answer questions and sign his books during the reception following his slide show.

The registration fee for the all-day workshop is $50 per person, payable to GCRL. Registration includes a continental breakfast, light lunch and snacks. Participation is limited to 20. Though the workshop is geared toward beginners, Ulrich tailors the experience to meet needs for all degrees of skill.

"The beginners will definitely benefit from the workshop, but I always help the more advanced get something out of it also," Ulrich said. "I lead many photo trips and always find a wide range of levels."

Ulrich said participants do not need to bring their photographic equipment unless they need an explanation about some aspect of their equipment.

Topics include a brief review of the principles of photography, relationships between shutter and aperture settings, fundamental elements of composition, use and timing of fill-in flash, digital versus film photography, techniques of close-up photography, and a brief discussion of slide etiquette, the photography business and marketing.

Ulrich grew up in South Chicago, graduated with a degree in biology from Southern Illinois University and taught for four years before launching his career as a freelance photographer. He has supported himself with nature photography for the past 29 years.

His library of more than 300,000 transparencies includes birds and mammals from all over the world. His photographs have been featured in publications such as National Wildlife, Audubon, National Geographic, Montana Outdoors and Life.

He has published six nature books, including Mammals of the Rockies, Birds of the Northern Rockies, Once Upon a Frame and his 2002 release, Photo Pantanal. Dr. William E. Hawkins, GCRL executive director, said Ulrich brings the scientific and artistic worlds together.

"Tom earns his living photographing wildlife all over the world," Hawkins sad. "He is an outstanding observer and a biologist. His approach to photography is to capture his subjects exhibiting their natural behavior."

The GCRL is home to the university's Department of Coastal Sciences, the Center for Fisheries Research and Development, and the Gulf Coast Geospatial Center. The J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium is also a unit of the laboratory. The GCRL is part of the Southern Miss College of Science and Technology. For more information, call the laboratory at (228) 872-4200.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM