Hello Monday from Suzanne: member of the OuTrop family

Hello Monday Blog

I have been in Sabangau for 7 months now and what a 7 months it has been! When I look back over my time with OuTrop so far, it’s been a wonderful roller-coaster ride and I am not ready to get off yet!

I am always amazed about the variety and number of OuTrop projects, and all in their own way contribute to protecting the Sabangau Forest. I constantly remind myself how important this habitat is – but it doesn’t take much – looking out of my bedroom window in camp to see a sea of green, luscious trees is enough to remind me exactly why I am here.

Snapped on a camera trap in Sabangau

I have always been interested in primate conservation and first came to Borneo when I was 19 years old to volunteer with orangutans. Since then I have been working towards a career in conservation and in 2008 I achieved a Masters in Primate Conservation. But, my focus has not only been on our hairy cousins. Before starting with OuTrop, I worked with the International Union for Conservation of Nature on freshwater fish conservation and before that I had the pleasure of coordinating research at Chester Zoo, UK for two and a half years. I was very excited to hear I recently had my zoo research on jaguar behaviour accepted for publication.

After working in the UK for a few years I was getting itchy feet and was ready to return to Indonesia. It’s a country I love and feel very much at home. And I was lucky to be able to join the OuTrop team and come back to my first love; orangutans!

Bornean orangutan. Photo by Andrew Walmsley/OuTrop

As well as carrying out research here, I am helping with OuTrop communication activities, so you will see my posts on our Facebook and Twitter profiles. I hope to bring the wonder of Sabangau to all the people who follow us around the world and encourage them to come out and see it for themselves!

What I love about Sabangau and OuTrop is that every day is different. I never know what is round the corner. Every day there is a new experience; discovering the forest and all its wonderful inhabitants, learning more Indonesian, immersing myself in the culture and making new friends.

But, what makes it really special are the people. We are one big family here at OuTrop; supporting each other, working hard to protect Sabangau and enjoying the experience together!

The OuTrop family