First published on our facebook wall on April 18th 2015
This week – Jane Hardwick!
“I wouldn’t be where I was today without the invaluable experience I have gained from working for Operation Wallacea. My first field season was in Indonesia (terrestrial site) in 2011 where I collected data on the endemic Buton macaques (a problem species for farmers), as a part of my undergraduate dissertation. The experience was unbeatable – I spent every day in the jungle or on farms, I got to know the local people, the cultures and the way of life on the island with the added bonus that I got a great dissertation project too.
Following this field season, I applied for, and was offered a position working as a field assistant at one of OpWall’s South Africa sites (Balule reserve). I had a fantastic couple of months in 2012 training school and university groups on field methods and spending every day spotting incredible wildlife in the African bush. The camp location was right on the Olifants river and on many occasions huge herds of elephants would pass by just as we were eating our breakfast and there was always the sound and sights of resident hippos and fish eagles. It was a beautiful place and I learnt a great deal on this trip about African wildlife conservation and management, which influenced me to eventually go on to do a MSc in Conservation Science and Policy (with a module in Kenya).
Previous to and during my Masters course (2013 and 2014), I went back to the Indonesia site and worked as a Primatologist, overseeing dissertation students’ data collection and collecting my own data for my MSc research. With the extensive experience in the field that I gained from the work I did for OpWall over four years, I got accepted onto a PhD in Australia with field work based in the rainforest in Borneo. I am now 6 months into this PhD, living in Brisbane and looking forward to my next jungle adventure, although I am sad that this time it won’t be with OpWall!”