Hello everyone~ My name is Meaghan Harris, and I’m a zoology, environmental science and French student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. For quite some time now, conservation and field research has struck a resonating chord with me. As I’ve progressed through my academics, I’ve been seeking, exploring and participating in experiences that interest me with the goal of eventually leaving a tangible impact.
This upcoming 2012 summer will mark a significant milestone in my journey. I will be traveling to Borneo, Malaysia from approximately June 3rd to July 28th to aid in field research occurring at the Danau Girang Field Centre. Furthermore, I will be taking on the responsibility of an acting field contact for the iSaveSpecies campaign, a nationwide zoological effort geared towards conservation education and outreach.
I will be assisting the research staff in ongoing projects occurring at the Field Centre, such as the current work with proboscis monkey behavior, crocodile ecology, and Borneo pygmy elephant tracking. Most importantly, I will be working with Dr. Goossens in expanding my interests regarding Sunda Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi) behavior, ecology and conservation via camera trap analysis.
In addition to my volunteer work, I will be serving as a field contact for iSaveSpecies. This additional role will expand the horizons of the expedition beyond that of the experimental science. Essentially, I will be collecting firsthand information regarding ongoing conservation efforts occurring in the field, with the goal of establishing a long-term dialogue between the members of the Centre and surrounding areas and zoo outreach programs across the United States. iSaveSpecies has been changing the face of conservation education by employing inquiry-based community engagement projects. Now, we seek to expand our efforts by creating a working database of positive accounts of ongoing field efforts. Therefore, I shall be collecting the raw components of these networks, including photographic journalism, personal accounts from the local populations regarding their relationships with nature, and interviews with researchers concerning the orangutans and the felids of the island.
Scientifically, I have the opportunity to be a part of research that will greatly enhance the field of knowledge regarding the clouded leopard. The future of the species is unclear while faced with palm oil plantation establishment and poaching, and it is critical to collect as much information as possible to develop informed and efficient conservation strategies before it’s too late.
Furthermore, the personal significance of this expedition is staggering. These efforts will not only serve to enhance the knowledge base concerning the functioning of the Bornean ecosystem and organisms, but will also aid in determining my academic and professional future. I am anticipating commencing my Doctorate once I graduate in December 2012, and these experiences will provide an invaluable basis, background, and hopefully a starting point for my own research. I expect this experience to solidify my dedication and interest in clouded leopard ecology, behavior, and most importantly, conservation.
Concerning iSaveSpecies, the work I will conduct will have a long-term positive impact on the campaign. As explained, the addition of ongoing field efforts into the national outreach database is highly beneficial. The goal is to establish these field connections to create a steady flow of supportive knowledge and awareness between the scientific and social communities.
What I Need & What You Get:
Below is a description of my budget as it currently stands:
Airfare and lodging to and from Malaysia: $2,700
Field lodging, food and board: $1,700
Extra travel fees: $200
Appropriate gear: $250
(packs, footwear, field journals and books, camera gear, mosquito repellent, hydration necessities, etc.)
Travel Health Insurance (approximately) $100
Immunizations and Anti-Malarial Drugs (unknown)
Potential baggage fees (unknown)
Therefore, I'll be needing upwards of $5,000. To be realistic, I've set a project goal of $3,500.
Now, to reach this goal, I need your help. And what's even better: my goal is surpassable. So even if we're 100% funded, you can still donate! But remember: you also benefit from your kindness. Check out the backer rewards I've set up on the right side of your screen.
Other Ways You Can Help
Spread the word! Tweet, Facebook, email, telephone, even talk to others about this project! If you have any questions please email me at : email@example.com
I'll always be willing to talk about my work, so please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you're intrigued.
Dr. Benoît Goossens, Cardiff University
Danau Girang Field Centre
Dr. Christopher Myers, Jill Korach and Lynne Myers, Miami University
Miami University Honors Program
ALL MY BACKERS