As the time draws closer for my first ever extended period in the field as a real-live grownup, I find my self wondering, what on earth do I bring with me? Of course as a girl I wonder what if I need to look nice? Should I bring make-up? Just in case? Maybe follow Mireya Mayor‘s lead and pack a little black dress? But then the outdoors[wo]man in me kicks in and I wonder which parts of my Wilderness First Aid training I’ll need to use… Will I have to splint a leg with branches and a sleeping bag? What about stop a gushing wound? Then I wonder if I’ll end up pulling something Bear Grylls-esc and get stranded away from my camp and have to use nothing but a knife, a lighter and the shirt off my back to survive for days on end while living on the leaves and trying to not get eaten by a lion.
Well most of this stuff probably won’t happen, but now you know what it sounds like in my head! But I was curious after reading Mireya Mayor’s book Pink Boot and a Machete about what kinds of quirky things are useful in a field situation, so I reached out. I asked the Twitterverse what their item they would never be caught without in the field was, which also morphed into, which books do you read in the field. Here are some of the great responses:
Everything you need to know about orangutans. There are a lot of things, but if you want a quick run down of the species, what they’re like and the troubles they are facing in the wild. Orangutans are critically endangered, as over 50% of the orangutan population has been lost over the last 50 years. This is mainly due to hunting and habitat loss. There are quite a few different organizations working to save the orangutan, most notably OFI which was started by Dr. Birute Galdikas who conducted the first ever long term study of orangutans in 1971. Since then we have learned a lot about orangutans, especially in that they are extensive tool users and they are much more social than previously thought.
Click on the photo for the full infograph! (You won’t regret it!)
A little while back I posted about the Aceh Protected Forest, a national park in peril and some ways that it might be improved. But there are still a lot of parks in peril out there, one that especially comes to mind is Masoala National Park in Madagascar. Madagascar has lost 85% of it’s forest to slash and burn farming, but it’s also one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. How can we keep the lemurs leaping through the quickly falling forests of Madagascar? Well I guess you’ll just have to keep reading…
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’tControl. 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.