Conservation with Communities Program
Community partners, led by leading conservation medicine veterinarians on site, stimulate engaged learning through immersion in the practice of conservation medicine. At each field site, students will work closely with partners and community leaders to study a One Health problem and collect data that can be used to better inform conservation management decisions in their host country. In Indonesia, students will be working to better understand the disease risks of moving water buffalo and other domestic ungulates into rhino protected areas. Specifically, students will investigate the perceived disease risks that emerge when buffalo and Javan or Sumatran rhinos share the same water and food resources in the park.
In Uganda, students are taking a One Health approach to better understand the interconnections of health between rural communities and wild chimpanzees - a perfect example of public health and conservation medicine. And in the Republic of Congo, students are learning about the role of sanctuaries in animal rehabilitation and welfare, best practices for health surveillance and pre-release testing of chimpanzees in release programs, and the intricate process of chimpanzee behavior as a tool for reintroduction.