I am writing this blog as I sit on the plane at the beginning of our 8 hour flight to Amsterdam. After all of the craziness getting ready for the trip it’s nice to sit back and relax a little. Ali and I were quite a spectacle at the airport today. Equipment was being transferred back and forth between suitcases as we tried to remain below the per-bag weight limit. While not the 20 item limit I imposed on the packing lists of my research page visitors, it can be hard to fit everything you are going to need for the next 6 months into two suitcases.
My recording equipment
So what is it that I have with me? First off, I have the equipment and supplies I will need for my research. My favorite thing I’ve brought along is my new recorder. It’s about 1/10th the size of my old recorder and will simply clip onto my belt. This will give me more maneuverability while traveling through the forest. Along with my microphone, this recorder will let me record the vocalizations of the chimpanzees that I am following so that I can study these sounds in greater detail. Continue reading
Over Christmas break I returned to my home state of Texas and learned that my friend Dr. Hani Freeman was working nearby at the Houston Zoo. Hani and I were housemates while we both conducted behavioral studies at the Michael E. Keeling Center, a captive primate facility near Austin, TX. Several months ago she was offered a position as the project coordinator of Lincoln Park Zoo’s Project ChimpCARE. Project ChimpCARE is dedicated to improving the lives of the 2000+ captive chimpanzees living in the United States. Because these chimpanzees are housed at various facilities and private homes around the country, there is no clear understanding of the wellbeing of this population as a whole. This project is aimed towards gathering information from these different populations, opening lines of communication between them, and improving management and care for these animals. Continue reading
Guest Blog by Elena O’Bryan
Health and Fitness Specialist (And my little sister)
Studying primates in Gombe is not a simple walk in the park (or so I have been told), it is more like a run through the forest, ducking and weaving in and out of the trees, brush and bees! Lisa wanted to make sure she was prepared for the physical exertion of Gombe so she asked me to create a workout plan that would help her get Gombe-ready. Fortunately she has been biking/running/walking most days of the week so she has a good base to start from. The most important thing about exercising is….to actually do it, so I came up with a program that would fit into her busy schedule yet help her get into better shape before leaving for Gombe.