12.17.2010

Fascinating Siberut, Mentawai Island

Well, actually this is my personal statement that i sent as a part of scholarship application to my graduate program (without that kind of pictures of course). But, it will be nice if i share it in my blog. happy reading :)

After I got my bachelor degree from Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), I wanted to have more experiences in the field that i really interested in, which is anything related to animal behavior, ecology, conservation and biodiversity. I was very fortunate, i had the chance to work as a field assistant at Siberut Conservation Program (SCP) for 6 months from June-December 2009. And working at SCP is my most important intellectual experience so far. SCP is a collaborative program between IPB and German Primate Center (DPZ), in which they built a research station in the middle of Siberut’s Forest to run the program. SCP works in the area of research related to the wildlife’s ecology, conservation, and community development. They chose to built a research station at Siberut because of Siberut’s nature distinction, where four endemic primates are endangered. 
During my time at SCP, my daily tasks were habituated two groups of Siberut Macaques, identified individuals by collected informations about morphology and draw characteristic to distinguish between individuals, helped to train local guides, etc. All of the duties have thaught me to become more responsible, punctual, thorough, and to appreciate differences, as well as to keep learning about all of the wildlife that I was observing. I really love my job because it makes me a stronger person; since I was able lo learn how to adapt with all of the circumstances at that time, such as being far from my family, be in the middle of somewhere that is difficult to be reached, with no phone signals nor internet connection, as well as limited food supply. But it was all worth it because I got to see and be in such a beautiful forest that hasn’t been spoiled by human, where the nature is still natural, and the local communities are all friendly to all of the foreign researchers and assistants.
When I worked at SCP, every morning from Monday to Saturday I went to the forest to collect data. At the forest, I was able to learn a lot, including to practice what I have studied at the university. In addition to that, I was also able to deepen the knowledge of wildlife behavior; including to distinguish the characteristics of each individual in a group, and to identify various types of trees as well as its local names. Apart from that, once in a while me and other assistants collected samples of leaf and fruits to make a herbarium. Hence I also learned how to made a good herbarium there, which was something that i actually took for granted during my studies at the university. At night, usually we discussed about our observations on that day, where in every discussion I learned not only how to be brave talking and expressing my opinion in public, but also to improve my ability to communicate in english. During my time at SCP, I have met many primatologist, ornitologist, herpetologist, as well as other researchers from across the country who have kindly shared their knowledge and experiences.
One of the researchers who paid a visit to our camp was Anthonny Whitten; he is a writer of books about some of the indonesian islands’ ecology. He has also done research about Gibbon in Siberut. It was an honor for me to have met someone like him, and to once have a dicussion with him. He once said that indonesia has such an extraordinary natural resources, and that we are in the need of more human resources in order to keep discovering the biodiversity potential that already exists, because we are currently lack of data and knowledge necessary. His words have prompt and motivated me even more to become a good scientist, as one of the ways to make a dedication for my country as well as for science international community.


Arrived in South Siberut, me not wearing jilbab yet
Simakobu, one of endemic primate there
Picture belongs to Azhari Purbatrapsila
With SCP's staff and Anthonny Whitten family
Male Bokkoi, enjoyed his lazy time
Our guide's house
Uma, the great house for meeting
Our camp from above
Our room :) i missed this place so much
River to take a bath, and the water is sooo cold. brr!
In the middle of the rain
Equipments
Homemade pizza :)


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2 comments:

  1. huaaa, foto itu... jelas-jelas foto kak ayu ma abangku a.k.a kak feri terpajang dengan senang hati di ruang belajar dirumah ini, ini semua karena keisengan sang ayah kami yang tak tega membiarkan foto yang menjadi kenangan anaknya itu (feri)di letakkan tanpa bingkai meski telah di press, :D makanya tak asing wajahmu, kak, happy eid mubarak kak ^^

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  2. Wah, masih ada ya fotonya? Hehehe, pasti dilaminating waktu di Siberut biar ga jamuran. Itu foto pertama pas kita nyampe di Siberut. Happy Ied Mubarak juga ya, Minal aidin wal faidzin :)

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