Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Back in the Mara!

Hi everyone!

            My name is Allie and I am the newest RA to Talek Fisi Camp! I graduated from Michigan State University in 2016 with a degree in Zoology, and I am yet another one of the RAs who got their start here from BEAM! I studied abroad on the 2014 BEAM trip, and ever since I’ve been wanting to come back! During my undergrad experience I volunteered in the hyena lab, working for grad student Julie Turner on boldness and personality data collection. I loved how interesting and different the hyenas were, and come graduation I was sad to have to leave the lab behind.  

            After graduation, I spent some time as a primate research intern for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, studying gorillas and orangutans and all aspects of their behavior. Following that I spent a summer helping to conserve the threatened Utah prairie dog. I never forgot how much I loved the hyenas though, and here I am again in the field getting the chance to work with them!

            I’ve been in the Mara for about two weeks now, and unfortunately I arrived just in time for the rainy season. We do not go out on observations when it rains too much for fear of getting the car stuck in the mud and damaging the beautiful Mara, so I’ve been biding my time in camp and learning all I can here! That generally consists of quizzing myself on hyena relatedness and clan membership, but hopefully soon I’ll be able to get out and start really doing the job I was sent here for! I’m very excited to begin the year here, and I look forward to the adventures to come! 

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