Meet Raquel: Tab Rasmussen scholarship recipient | Field Projects International
 

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Meet Raquel: Tab Rasmussen scholarship recipient

I’m a 23 year old Biology major from the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. I found out about the Primates Peru scholarship through a friend who shared a link via facebook. I applied for the scholarship expecting to get hands-on experience in field biology, and my expectations were beyond met.

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Raquel poring over a radio telemeter, once used to track wolves in Yellowstone National Park, but today, put to use in training students in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest

Winning a scholarship gave me the opportunity to spend two weeks at an amazing location, with wonderful people who shared my interests, and with excellent instructors.

I  thoroughly enjoyed this experience; it left me with an enormous amount of knowledge and great memories.

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Learning bird wing anatomy by practicing on humans – Niki Reiff and Ben Lybarger, participants from the US work with Raquel on the ornithology module


 

Raquel won the David Tab Rasmussen Scholarship to attend the December 2014 Tropical Biology Field Course, and we are certain that Tab would have loved her enthusiasm for natural history. In her essay to win the scholarship, she was asked to describe and justify her choice of an adaptation she wishes she had – Tab’s (and we agree) was to have a prehensile tail.

She choose the ability to brachiate, explaining beautifully how it would make her feel like a child again – with the freedom to move as she pleases. She wrote:

Cuando era una adolescente ( y en ocasiones todavía) soñaba con una vida como la de Cósimo, en total libertad y con completa independencia, sin tener que estar atada a la vida con los pies en el suelo.

One of our favorite moments occurred towards the end of the course, when Raquel and Nikki braved a precipice into a dammed stream, at night, to get a closer look at an amblypygid, or a tail-less whip scorpion. Harmless as this creature is, it definitely gave pause to many others who were uncertain of what to expect from something that looked like a large spider but was named a scorpion! Not Raquel though – here she is, giving it a kiss!

Raquel

With her strengths and enthusiasm, we think Raquel will go very far and we’re going to be watching with great interest, that’s for sure!

 

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