Conservation Biologist

Fiona "Boo" Maisels

Official Title: Ecological Monitoring Coordinator, West Central Africa

 

“Wildlife conservation is enormously rewarding. You are constantly amazed and delighted by what you see - it might be an eagle feeding its young high in a tree, it might be ants carrying termites home from a hunting expedition, it might be an orchid flower shaped like a bee. Every day there is something that makes you gasp. And, underlying all this amazement and curiosity is the knowledge that you can do something about saving these things.”

 

Photo copyright 2006 by Karin von Loebenstein

 

 

 

As a child, Boo was always out and about looking at bugs, birds, and animals in the countryside behind where she lived. She always enjoyed animals, especially the horses she would ride. By the time Boo was about seven, she knew she wanted to work with animals. Then, at some point in high school, she realized wildlife was in danger. After reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and George Schaller's early books, she decided she wanted to work to save wildlife, probably in Africa.

 

Boo studied biology and geography in high school. After she graduated, she went to college, where she concentrated on the wildlife side of biology, joined the biology club, and participated in university expeditions to the tropics. She eventually earned a Ph.D. and started working in Africa. First, Boo worked in Lopé National Park in Gabon. After some years working in DRC, Congo, Gabon (again) and Cameroon (including, for WCS, in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo), she has now returned to live in Lopé again, and helps sites in Gabon, Congo, DRC, and Cameroon monitor their wildlife.

 

Monitoring wildlife involves looking at where animals are, how many there are, whether their numbers are going up or down, and whether they are still in the places they used to be- or not, and why. Is it because of hunting? Logging? Forest loss? Boo helps African biologists learn how to find these things out by organizing training courses, working with them in the field and back in the Park headquarters. She produces written guidelines to help survey teams carry out their work in the same way. She also works with many other conservation scientists to improve survey and monitoring methods in the forests of Central Africa, which is exciting and interesting!

 

Living in a very wild and untouched place, Boo knows that she is making a difference. The things she sees around her every day—monkeys, elephants, amazing birds—are surviving because of the work she does.

 

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DEP Presentation December 2nd Review by AJ

Last Tuesday the head education director of The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP for short), Kim Estes, came in as a guest speaker, invited by the environmental club. The main topic of her presentation was water supply and wastewater…
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Hadassah Brenner commented on Hadassah Brenner's blog post My Goal
"well, I'm doing individual creative work, but am also head of my school's environmental club. We emailed prospect park zoo a couple of months ago, as I attended the teen internship in 2011, asking if we could take a look at what I and my…"
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Dept of Education Sustainability Poster Contest at New York

December 2, 2014 at 6pm to December 19, 2014 at 7pm
NYC DOE Sustainability Initiative's artwork contest invites students to create posters about environmental sustainability (energy, water, ecology, etc.), and actions that schools can take to get involved.  Winning posters will be produced and be available for schools to order at no cost, and prizes will be awarded to 9 winners. See More
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Recap November 17th-December 2nd

To the Secret Garden,                   Hey everyone. Sorry we wont be meeting next week, but the first week in December (Tuesday December 2nd), we will meet and hopefully have a really exciting activity presentation. And just a quick thought I had…
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