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San Diego Zoo honors Ashland's Ken Goddard

The director of the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland will be recognized in an award ceremony Thursday by the San Diego Zoo.

Ken Goddard, who will receive the zoo's Special Achievement Award, led the effort to create and fund the forensics laboratory in 1988 and is now its director. He is being recognized by the zoo for his use of cutting-edge scientific methods to solve crimes against wildlife, especially endangered species.

Scientists at the lab analyze forensic evidence in order to link wildlife crimes with the people who committed them. Goddard works with zoos and aquariums throughout the world, including San Diego Zoo Conservation Research, to obtain samples for use in developing forensic tests that can help convict animal traffickers. It operates as the official crime lab for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and the Wildlife Group of Interpol.

Goddard, who earned a bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University of California, Riverside, also writes crime novels, including "The Chimera Execution," "The Alchemist," "Prey" and "First Evidence."