Stories from the field: OTS Tropical Ecology & Conservation Spring 2019

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Dreaming is not bad

By: Edwin Jurado Rojas, Bachelor in Forest Engineering and Environment of the National Amazonic University of Madre de Dios, Peru

I must start by thanking the Organization for Tropical Studies – OTS, for the opportunity provided. This course has been transformative for me, I expected to learn a lot and I did. Over the course of the days and weeks of the course, I became aware of how small my vision of ecology was and the infinite amount of work that needs to be done. The challenge that awaits us is incredible and uncertain at the same time, despite this, I maintain  hope that each of us who make up this wonderful team, will contribute to change in our society.

My teachers have influenced me in a thousand ways particularly in what I now want to be, my aptitude as a person and as a professional have been greatly enhanced. For these reasons, I feel happy, motivated and fortunate to have known them and shared many moments. However, all this would not have been possible without the company of my friends, special people whom I had the privilege of knowing.

I studied forestry and never imagined identifying spiders just by  architecture of their web, and the amazing thing was that we used “Latin science”, thanks to professor William Eberhard. Also, I did not imagine chasing monkeys for a whole day, and discovering a little more about their behavior, thanks for teaching us part of your work Sarie van Belle. Above all, I did not expect to meet Winnie Hallwachs and Dan Janzen, admirable people for their dedication to research and conservation of the forests, someday I hope to be like them “dreaming is not bad.”

I had never done a podcast much less a video about science, and I really came to appreciate its importance and the need of this tool for us as researchers, I promise to apply it from now on.

Formulating a research proposal was simply frustrating, I discovered how much I still need to learn from the “theoretical framework” and everything else in reality, but, this exercise has been the best I have had, as our professors said; everything is in practice.

I must end by  thanking Guis, Sofia, Jenny, Fernando and Pablo. Thanks for everything, they are the best!