The Living Desert
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On the Road with RoxAnna – 8

On the Road with RoxAnna Mission Accomplished This past couple of weeks has been challenging but we have kept a positive attitude even without knowing what was in store for us. For most of our time here, we were uncertain if we would be able to accomplish our mission and we tried to not feel defeated. It was also helpful that we had each other to lean on, borrow from, and watch out for. Some of us were strangers at the beginning of this adventure but we will forever be bonded by this journey. It has been a privilege to come on this adventure of a lifetime, to work with […]

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On the Road with RoxAnna – 7

On the Road with RoxAnna Field Conservation Field conservation can be defined as action that helps secure the long-term survival of species in its natural ecosystems and habitats. Projects in the field can be to recover a species, coordinate veterinary care for disease issues, create assurance populations, research, increase community awareness and facilitate educational opportunities for local peoples. This work is often done in remote and harsh environments. This work is no pleasure cruise or for those afraid to get dirty. In some places in the world it can be dangerous in a variety of ways. As we go about our daily lives, I think it is easy to forget […]

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On the Road with RoxAnna – 6

On the Road with RoxAnna Are animals happy? As the time passes in the desert, many topics come and go. The concept of animals being happy has been one of the many that have been discussed here. The definition according to Websters dictionary for happiness is, “a state of well-being or contentment or a pleasurable, satisfying experience.” Do animals experience happiness? Do all animals experience happiness? Do all animals experience the same levels of happiness? If they do experience happiness, how often are they happy? Does it matter where animals live whether they are happy or not? How do humans affect that happiness? All legitimate questions that have been asked. […]

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On the Road with RoxAnna – 5

On the Road with RoxAnna An adventure within an adventure- Sleeping in the middle of the desert in a tent under the stars hearing the sounds of the night is not always the best way to fall asleep. You hear noises and if you are not familiar with the area, you do your best to decipher the sounds of the night instead of trying to fall asleep. The heat is so intense even at night, any breeze is a welcome one. Then there are the things you never think you may think you hear falling asleep at night, like donkeys braying. Yes, that’s what I said, donkeys braying. The last […]

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On the Road with RoxAnna – 4

On the Road with RoxAnna An adventure within an adventure- The delay has made us rethink how we spend our days. While we wait for the collars there is only so much we can do around camp. The pens have been set up, the oryx have been moved to where they need to be and the supplies have been accounted for. Now all we can do is wait. We have gone out several times to monitor the now wild oryx. We have joked several times about just running down to the Starbucks for some Frappuccino’s but sadly we are only able to joke about such a thing. There is brown […]

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On the Road with RoxAnna – 3

On the Road with RoxAnna Seeing Extinction Vanish The first time I laid eyes on the Scimitar-horned oryx out in the wild was a remarkable feeling. Goosebumps moment, for sure! To see an animal that was gone from its rangeland and now be returned is an incredible feeling. If nobody had bothered or cared enough to put forth a plan to save this animal, it simply would not be here today. Seeing them standing so regal in the desert and knowing all the hard work that allowed us to be here, is quite an emotional feeling. It’s difficult to find the words to describe the moment. We have gone out […]

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On the Road with RoxAnna – 2

On the Road with RoxAnna Although the trek was long to base camp and we had lots of hiccups along the way, the best part was that we were able to see so much of the country. To make it even better, Chad is in the beginning of the rainy season and they have already had some rain. This meant much of the country has beautiful, vibrant hues of green over the landscape. Every now and again we would travel through amazing rock outcropping hills that were splattered with green. All good signs that rain has come and will continue to fall. The dependency on rain is vital for life […]

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On the Road with RoxAnna – 1

On the Road with RoxAnna Traveling to Chad I began this adventure from LAX international terminal, I had no issues except that we already had heard there would be a delay with the project that I was going to participate in as I boarded. I met up with others traveling for this project at the Paris airport. Once we were all together we began to update each other on what we knew. We still had a long way to go. We were all on our way to Chad, right in the middle of Africa. Our flight was delayed and so we waited and waited. For anyone who flies and is […]

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India with JDB – 9

A Lot Can Happen Ah, well. After a wonderful 6 weeks in India working with the very impressive Applied Environmental Research Foundation based out of Pune, I am home. Travel to India is rarely quick and comfortable, involving multiple 10 hour plus flights and frequently long layovers in between. In fact, I had one of the longest days (dates?) I have ever had last Saturday. I left Mumbai at 1:45 am local time, flew to and had a long layover in London, and then arrived into San Diego at 8pm. As such, my June 16th totaled 42 hours long, among my longest ever! In my last post here, I wanted […]

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India with JDB – 8

Sacred Groves, FairTrade, and Community Forests A decade or two ago a friend of mine was thinking about writing a book with a working title of “What’s In It For Me: A Selfish Person’s Guide to Caring About the Environment.” I doubt that he was going to use that title – talk about a way to kill sales of a book! Insulting the intended audience is not a way to move copies. In any case, he had the insight to point out that the best way to garner support from many people who would otherwise not care about conservation. They do not care whether their kids have nature and wild […]

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