What is your previous work experience?
Before joining the Duke community, I focused on primate conservation. I served as director of the Endangered Primate Rescue Center in Vietnam from 2018-2020. This experience exposed me to the nuances of wildlife trafficking, community based management projects, and the conservation and rehabilitation of critically endangered species. While in Vietnam, I was completing my MSc from Central Washington University in Primate Behavior and Ecology. My research focused on bioacoustics and health for Nomascus gibbons. As well, I have experience working in Chimpanzee Sanctuaries in the USA.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
I chose the Nicholas School because of the ESC program’s flexible “topic x toolkit” framework for the curriculum. I am looking forward to working with my advisor to find the best pathway of classes to prepare me to work in conservation. I hope to make a meaningful difference by gaining a skill set that works for me. I chose the Nicholas School because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program and I am excited to learn from professors with varied backgrounds and expertise. I am happy to be a part of a cohort that will look to solve environmental issues from all avenues. I hope to leave the Nicholas School as a well-rounded and skilled conservationist.
What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I am excited to join the Nicholas School community, and the larger Duke community. While I know that the coursework is going to help me grow my skill set immensely, I strongly believe in the value of shared ideas and experiences. I am eager to get to know and learn from my classmate’s perspectives and opinions, and hope to form lasting friendships.
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I have a background in bioacoustic research, and I am interested in expanding my understanding of how passive acoustic monitoring can contribute to conservation. I plan on doing this by taking classes that will improve my knowledge of data analytics, and capacity to manage large data sets. I hope to do a Master’s Project that involves bioacoustics so that I can apply these new skills in a practical way. Additionally, I am excited to gain other tools, such as GIS, to increase my capacity as an environmentalist.
What plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
I hope to continue working in wildlife conservation and to be able to apply what I will learn at the Nicholas School in meaningful ways. I would love to work for a grassroots wildlife conservation organization, or a global non-profit organization that is focused on finding sustainable solutions for both humans and wildlife. I deeply hope that at some point in my life, with whatever job I pursue, it will eventually lead me back to working with gibbons.