Well now that we have gone public with this blog, it seems it might be nice for each student to give a brief sketch of their interests and concerns. So perhaps each student could post answers to two questions?
1) What topic do you plan to study while in Zambia?
2) What are your concerns for the course?
What do I plan to study? Well I am hoping to better document bird species diversity in the three parks we will visit - and I am especially interested in us being able to contribute observations of cranes (like those pictured here) in Zambia to the folks at the International Crane Foundation. The ICF is doing their best to document crane populations across Africa, and we may be able to assist with our 15 pairs of eyes and ears in Zambia.
My big concern is with the rotten fact that there are only 24 hours in each day. There will be so much to experience...so many new habitats, organisms, people, languages and cultures that I fear we may all be overwhelmed with what will soon feel like limited time on the ground. But with all the preparation the students are doing now, the travels and the projects should hopefully go smoothly and successfully.
In May and June of 2007, 13 undergraduate students from Northern Michigan University are taking a field course in Zambia. Most of the students are majors in the Biology department, and all of them will be doing short field studies of their own design while on the ground in Zambia. The group will be making a stop in London on the way, spending four days seeing Zambia/Africa-related British sites (Burton's tomb, Livingstone's artefacts at the Royal Geographic Society, the British Museum of Natural History, etc.) and adjusting to the time change. The course is being led by me, Dr. Alec Lindsay, a professor in the Department of Biology at NMU, and Dr. Jackie Bird - a parasitologist in our department. We have made this blog so students can hopefully post notes thoughts, pictures and discoveries to the world. This should allow classmates, teachers, family and friends to share in their insights and keep track of their travels. Not only that, but viewers of the blog can add comments to posts - please do! We would love to hear your thoughts. Zikomo!