Republic of Congo
Team Congo 2019
BS Environmental & Sustainability Sciences
I applied to this Engaged Cornell program because my interest in wildlife conservation thus far focused on the animal aspect and I was interested in expanding my approach to working with communities. In the summer of 2019, I was selected as the undergraduate student to travel to the Jane Goodall Institute in the Republic of Congo, Africa. Here I experienced the concept of One Health, which demonstrates how the health of humans, wildlife, and the environment are inextricably linked. Within six weeks, we had the opportunity to participate in the health checks of twenty-six chimpanzees as well as carry out the accompanying lab work. During this time, we also collected behavioral data on the rescued chimpanzees and began the process of installing forty remote camera traps. These cameras were used to track the wild chimpanzee populations in Tchimpounga Natural Reserve and Conkouati-Douli National Park. Now back at Cornell, this program has validated my interest in continuing to consolidate my passion of conservation with my interest in working with communities. As a result, I will be investigating the impact of climate change on key indicator species and livelihood species in two villages in Tajikistan for my honors thesis.