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Scholar Highlight Week Ending June 12, 2016

June 15, 2016

Amani Lee


Amani and Gaina onsite at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve

This week was my first full week in Barbados. So far my experience has been filled with extraordinary readings and field trips. This week, a group of us took a trip out to what is called Welchmen Hall Gully which is home to wild monkeys, majestic rainforest trees and delicate native plants. The gully is one of the only places where native plants and animals inhabit and roam freely. But due to the sugar plant cultivation, only about 700 out of the 2100 plant species, that are native to Barbados, are located in this nature reserve. The Director and Nature Specialist, constructed the gully and it has been running under her wing for about 9 years. She believes in conserving wildlife and protecting the native plant life in Barbados. Also, she believes in teaching young kids about conserving wildlife and nature by establishing a camp which makes it fun for them. It fascinated me how confident and passionate she is in her work and how much it concerned her

Gaina-Yvan PierreYvan 3

This first week here in Barbados has been very busy and fast-paced, both academically as well as in regards to the international experience
So far during class time, we have been studying how to properly create a reliable basis for research as well as gaining background information on primates and their behaviors. The readings How Monkeys See the World, Measuring Behavior as well the two films watched so far, Chimpanzees and Monkey Island have all contributed to the further understanding of the research we will be/have been conducting. By expanding knowledge on the usual behavior of monkeys, as well as comparisons to other primates such as baboons, chimpanzees and macacs it helps give basis to my research groups hypothesis of how rank can affect these behaviors. For example the chimpanzees located in an African Rainforest were very territorial in relation to their resources and that is a behavior I have repeatedly seen with my own eyes of the green monkeys of Barbados when being fed, or throwing sunflower seeds/peanuts. We have also been asked to put together presentations and activities (in small groups) every other day in order to reflect our understandings of our readings and engage our peers in discussion on topics to aid in clarity. I do find these to be helpful because sometimes just reading (especially technical teachings with multiple terms that have similar definitions) can be difficult to absorb during a condensed learning situation. But I have engaged in summer school before and expected nothing less.

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