Global primatology program in Indonesia searches for applicants – The Daily Aztec

After a successful trip in 2022, Riley will bring more college students on her overseas study trip to Indonesia to study primates

Dr. + Erin + Riley% 2C + left% 2C + e + three + SDSU + university students +% 28Jadyn + Skipper% 2C + Pedro + Rios% 2C + e + Melissa + Callado% 3B + left + to + right% 29 + observe + the + Javan + lutong + o + Ebony + langur + monkey% 2C + Gunung + Halimun + Salak + National + Park% 2C + Java% 2C + Indonesia.

Rahayu Okativani (courtesy)

Dr. Erin Riley, left, and three SDSU college students (Jadyn Skipper, Pedro Rios, and Melissa Callado; left to right) observe the Javan lutong or ebon langur monkey, Gunung Halimun Salak National Park, Java, Indonesia .

San Diego State University has one of the largest global education opportunities in the nation, with hundreds of programs in over 50 countries. Dr. Erin Riley, a professor in the anthropology department, is one of many faculty members working to expand these opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Riley traveled overseas to Indonesia last summer with three of her college students to gain first-hand experience with the region’s primates. Riley plans to continue this global program over the next three summers and is looking for candidates.

This program is known as “People, Primates and Tropical Forests: Integrated Primatological and Ecological Research to Advance Human-Primate Existence and Ecosystem Health in Indonesia”.

In Sulawesi, an island in central Indonesia, Riley and her students studied the behavior of swamp macaques and how their growing interactions with humans can affect their health. How animals and humans interact with each other is at the forefront of Riley’s studies and is a lot about what her students focused on on their last journey.

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There is a main passage through the national park, and it’s been there for a long time, it’s not something new, “Riley said.” The novelty is that these monkeys, the swamp macaque, are spending … more and more time. on the road.”

SDSU students, Melissa Callado, Pedro Rios, Jadyn Skipper (left to right), are observing Java gibbons in Gunung Halimun Salak National Park, Java, Indonesia. (Rahayu Okativani (courtesy))

Marsh macaques spend so much time on the road because people have noticed and started feeding them. However, human food is poor for their health, and their increased presence on the road can cause injury. Riley and his team worked to study the nature of this interface in order to understand both the human and primate perspective on the situation and learn how to manage it.

Riley and her team also visited the island of Java, Indonesia, where the students went to Gunung Halimun Salak National Park to study the endangered Java Gibbon and collect data on their health. There, they also attended a symposium on women in primatology, where Riley was asked to speak by one of her colleagues.

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The group also had the opportunity to participate in a women’s empowerment initiative to connect with women in Indonesia.

“Many of the initiatives that environmentalists are trying to take are making sure that all sections of the community are affected. Often men from the village can be hired as field assistants to go to the forest, and that’s great, but that only benefits them. How are women benefited? ”Riley said.

Although primatology is a female-dominated field, there is still room for progress regarding equal opportunities in these areas of Indonesia. Riley strives to extend their studies to Indonesian students and project partners as well, making sure they are immersed in researching their own environments. Animals and primates are a part of life in Indonesia and often interact with all of its inhabitants, and Riley argues that they should be studied as such.

Riley had the opportunity to continue these studies, as well as working directly with the National Science Foundation. For future travel, she has received scholarships from NSF through her program called International Research Experiences for Students (IRES).

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According to the National Science Foundation, Ires, “supports international research and research-related activities for US science and engineering students ”e “ccontributes to the development of a diverse and globally engaged workforce with world-class skills ”. They provide the necessary funding for the trip, as well as the opportunity to work closely with researchers in the area.

All associated expenses, such as travel expenses, food, etc. will be covered during Riley’s three-year program. Additionally, students will also receive a weekly stipend to replace their previous income and help pay bills and other personal expenses.

This funding, however, was not simply handed over to Riley. She has been taking students with her on research trips for nearly 15 years and just started receiving external funding in 2016.

The future of Riley and her global commitments and opportunities is bright and she strongly encourages students to apply for the 6 weeks Summer 2023 voyage.

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