(Swahili for “What’s the news?”)
John Linsley ’04 (KSP fall ’02)
169 Perkins Row
Topsfield, MA 01983
As mentioned last time, Patrick McLaughlin ’05 (KSP fall ’04) traveled in January to Equatorial Guinea with the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) to survey wildlife in the remote volcanic calderas of Bioko Island. On the expedition’s first day, sitting below a tree enjoying the view to a riverbed below, Patrick recalls, "the branches above me suddenly crashed down, and I looked up to catch a glimpse of a drill swinging out of view." Bioko's drill is one of the island’s endemic species and one of the most endangered primates in Africa.
"In the days following,” Patrick continued, “our team trekked into areas little or never explored, searched rivers and streams to collect several dozen species of frogs, set up mist nets for birds and bats, and surveyed the beaches at night for nesting sea turtles. In the calderas we completed primate surveys, creeping through the forest to sneak up on species like the black colobus and the red-eared guenon."
The group dealt with torrential rains, swarms of bees, enormous spiders and poisonous snakes. "Our camps were basic, our food minimal, and the conditions a bit challenging, but the experiences were unparalleled in their scientific value and lasting impression,” Patrick said.
“The KSP cultivated my passion for fieldwork and conservation, and my hope was to find my way back to Africa via work in conservation biology. Participating on the BBPP expedition is a unique opportunity for aspiring field biologists to engage in world-class research with leading experts,” he explained. To learn more, write Patrick at email@example.com or visit www.bioko.org.
Patrick was planning to spend the summer leading a National Geographic Student Expeditions program in Australia’s Outback and Great Barrier Reef, and in the fall to rejoin the BBPP to begin study for a Ph.D. in environmental science at Drexel University.
In other KSP alumni news, Brett Harvey ’02 (KSP fall ’00) and his wife, Hattie Shelton ’02, are in Golden, Col. Brett is a geologist and conducted research in Alaska in June; there he met Jonathan King ’96 (KSP spring ’95), an economist in Anchorage.
Derek Hackmann ’04 (KSP fall ’02) wrote from Salt Lake City, where he is based with General Electric and living with Melissa Hayman ’03 and Tim Whitman ’03. Also from the fall ’02 KSP, Eric Klapper ’04 wrote from Ireland where he was preparing his thesis for an M.Sc. in management from University College Dublin prior to a June return to the U.S.
Rebecca Brown ’03 (KSP fall ’01) led two community service programs in Kenya this summer for the Denver-based World Leadership School (www.worldleadershipschool.com). One was comprised of high school students and the other of teachers.
Spring ’09 KSP student Stanzi McGlynn ’10 spent the independent study portion of her semester in Kenya as a volunteer trainer at Nairobits (www.nairobits.com), a digital design school in Nairobi that focuses on multimedia skills for less privileged urban youth. Stanzi lectured on art theory and taught concepts of photography.
Bill Kaiser ’79, a founding member of The Boma Fund (www.bomafund.org), works closely with Kathleen Colson ’79, the organization’s executive director as well as a fellow student on the spring ’78 KSP.
Sam Timberg (Middlebury, KSP fall ’05) traveled in April to Cape Town and Stellenbosch, South Africa, to tour wine vineyards as part of his work with the New York-based South African wine importer Cape Classics.
Sadly, Bantu Mwaura, an adjunct faculty member in performance and communication arts in spring 2008, was found dead in Nairobi in late April, as briefly noted in the last issue. Bantu was the husband of former Swahili lecturer Susan Bantu. A harambee (traditional fundraiser) has been organized to help his family; please contact Associate Dean for International Studies Patricia Alden (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Patrick McLaughlin ’05 measures a new transect in preparation for conducting a primate survey among the calderas of Boiko Island, Equatorial Guinea.
KSP alums, send me your news. Photos are always welcome. You may also join the KSP Facebook group: search “St. Lawrence University Kenya Semester Program.” Kwaherini!
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