So I wanted to start a blog so everyone who wants to follow along can!
So Im going to spend 6 weeks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. I am leaving May 29th and coming back to Dublin July 12th. I will be working with an organization called Conservation Through Public Health that works with the surrounding people in Bwindi to help conserve the endangered mountain gorilla species. There are about 800 left in the world. They are being poached but they are also affected by human diseases due to people living near by. The woman who started this organization is a veterinarian, Dr. Gladys, has a goal: to achieve gorilla conservation by enabling humans, wildlife and livestock to coexist through improving primary healthcare in and around Africa’s protected areas.
How did I hear about Dr. Gladys? She gave a presentation through a webinar for One Health. What is one health? It is the idea that all medicine, science, people, animals and the environment are linked together and that we need to start identifying that and the issues that arise from that. I contacted her to ask if I could come work with her for part of the summer. And I applied for a research grant from the Morris Animal Foundation which is a non-profit organization that invests in science to aid animal health. So this wonderful grant is giving me the opportunity to fly to Uganda, and live in Bwindi for 6 weeks tracking gorillas, and taking fecal samples. Sounds gross I know but there are a lot of tests you can run on fecal samples that can tell scientists about their health status. I am so excited and nervous at the same time but its going to be a great opportunity to see a special part of the world and these wonderful animals!!!