Today is the age of social media. News papers and magazines are dying and people are now getting their information from places like Facebook, Twitter or… hey! even blogs like this one! Well, besides from online news sources like National Geographic or Science Daily who should you be following to get your daily dose of science? Well, lets take a look at a few of my favorite places gain some serious knowledge.
I am so excited to finally announce that I will be spending three magnificent weeks in Sierra Leon observing chimpanzees this summer. It has been a while since I published a personal post, since I have been waiting to hear back from a few different institutions regarding my future in primatology. But now that I am pumped full of excitement and vaccines, I think that it is safe to share a little bit about the Tonkolili Chimpanzee Project in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leon in Western Africa.
I have been working on an independent project where I have been evaluating a series of protected areas around the world that are home to a variety of species of primates. I am doing so to evaluate what exactly is going wrong in these parks in comparison to some protected areas that are not overrun with illegal hunting, logging and development. One of the ‘parks in peril’ that I am examining is the Aceh Protected Forest. This forest is in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra which is being degraded at an alarming rate. Take a look at some of the information I’ve found:
Blackfish is a documentary following the life of Tilikum the orca, also known as the ‘killer’ whale, that has killed three people while in captivity. The documentary airs tomorrow on CNN with the tagline Never Capture What you Can’t Control. I encourage those who can to take a look at the documentary tomorrow (thursday) night at 9pm ET/PT. It is also showing in some theaters.
Mireya Mayor discovered the smallest primate species before the age of 30, she has swum with giant squids, great whites, followed in the footsteps of Henry Morton Stanley during his expedition down the Congo River, been in a plane crash, chased by elephants and trekked to the most remote corners of the globe. She is a primatologist, and more importantly she is an explorer.
What a better way to celebrate fall rolling in, pumpkins on front porches, halloween coming to town and, obviously, pumpkin ice-cream, than by celebrating orangutans! The Sumatran Orangutan Society, or SOS, is campaigning to make october all about orangutans and has provided you with 31 things to do to be a great OranguFan.
I fall more and more in love with Indonesia at every turn. I am by no means an expert on it, (not yet anyway) just someone who dreams of living the rest of their life in the jungles of Borneo. It seems every time I fall in love with a new species they are close neighbors of the orangutans, whether it be the beautiful hornbills (O.A.P. to come), or even the ever-curious black crested macaque.
A new study suggests that orangutans (and one young gorilla) may be more capable of identifying types of animals than we had previously given them credit for. In the 1700’s Carolus Linneaus gave two names to each species, organizing species for the first time. He classified them in a hierarchical system, starting broad with kingdom, phylum, class, then getting more specific with family, genus, and finally the most specific, species. It took humans an embarrassingly long time to become so organized and look more critically at the animals we share our planet with.
Maybe you’ve read some past blog posts, or been following my journey, or maybe you just read the tagline at the top of my website, but I’m sure you’ve figured out that while I might be in Dallas, my heart lives in Indonesia. I will soon be pursuing a graduate degree at Oxford Brookes University to get my masters in Primate Conservation, which I will be talking about in my next ‘my journey’ post. But while perusing the Facebook page of my future school I came across this lovely blog titled “The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project” which talks about the animals of Borneo and life of a field researcher.
As my study abroad plans to spend a semester in Costa Rica fell through I had to begin looking for an apartment back in Dallas. I was not thrilled because, as much as SMU has done for me, for a while it wasn’t my favorite place. I probably shouldn’t have chosen a school known for business and not at all for science, but at the time I was desperate to get away from Florida for a little while. But my plans of transferring were not looking bright and I was hoping to find a ray of sunshine to make my stay in Dallas more appealing. Enter, the Dallas Zoo.