A chance meeting with a fellow scientist 27 years ago forever changed Randy Kyes’ life — catapulting him from North Carolina to Indonesia and beyond. As the founding director of the University of Washington’s Center for Global Field Study and head of the Division of Global Programs at the Washington National Primate Research Center, Kyes has spent almost three decades leading field courses on environmental and global health in a dozen countries.
Often accompanied by students from the UW and around the United States, Kyes spends about seven months of the year traveling to remote sites in places such as Indonesia and Nepal, leading study abroad programs and conducting field courses and K-12 outreach efforts for local people.
In late July, Kyes — who is also a research professor in psychology and an adjunct research professor in global health and anthropology — will lead his 100th field course, in Thailand. He sat down with UW Today recently to talk about his work.