Friday, October 28, 2011

Lindsay's Internship - Foraging Study and ESL at the School

Hi, my name is Lindsay Grant from Calgary, Canada, and I just joined the team as a GVI intern. I graduated from high school last June and decided to take a year off before university to work with animals. During my 6 months here I’ll be extending the Elephant Foraging Study and teaching English to the local children at a grade 4-5 level at the village school.Throughout the plant study I’ll be going for hikes with the mahouts and the chief of Huay Pakoot to collect samples of the flora the elephants eat. I also have the opportunity to meet with a professor at the Chiang Mai University to get the scientific names for the plants collected and also add our samples to the herbarium there. As a long term goal there will be a foraging guide available to all volunteers and a simple test so they will be able to identify the plants for themselves during hikes with the elephants. This data is important as elephants naturally forage on a wide range of plants in the wild, and we are learning from our elephants which species they choose to eat.