We are here as volunteer research assistants for an on-going research project on orangutan ecology. Our work supports research that could prove critical in helping protect orangutans and their habitats, which are under threat due to deforestation and increased demand for palm oil. Post graduation from Franklin and Marshall college we worked to pay our way here, get our immunizations (insurance companies don’t cover the roughly $1,000 each), and purchase gear and supplies in order to live off the grid in the rainforest because of how important we find research like this.
We are asking for your help today because we ran into a large unexpected cost when trying to change our flights to return home. When we originally booked flights we were unable to book them for over 6 months, making a flight change necessary, but an unclear company policy has made it so our airline is charging us over $1,400 each to change our tickets, which is more than the cost of a new ticket. This would mean either we leave months earlier than planned, abandoning our position with a long-established research project, or coughing up sums of money that we don't have as recent college undergrads working as non-paid research assistants.
We are reluctantly asking for help to purchase new return tickets home (that is less than rebooking). We've committed so much time and effort to this project, we would hate to have to abandon it early due to ludicrous flight change fees. We will be sincerely thankful to anyone who can donate even the smallest amount, as every little bit counts. Thanks to anyone who can help, and for anyone who would like to know a little bit more about us or the research project, please read below.
About Us: We are both graduates of Franklin & Marshall College, a small liberal arts college in Lancaster, PA. Conor majored in Biology and Ellie majored in Animal Behavior with a minor in Environmental Studies. We are dedicated students, who both plan on pursuing careers in wildlife biology and/or conservation, with plans to attend grad school upon return to the U.S. As assistant researchers on a long-term project located in Central Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia, we perform behavioral follows on a population of habituated wild orangutans (such as the ones from these photos), collecting samples and studying ecology to better understand conservation methods. For more, read Ellie’s blog: https://adventuresinborneo.wordpress.com
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