I initially started this blog as a way to keep up with friends and family while away doing research in the peat swamp jungles of Indonesia, excursions which I assumed would be exciting but temporary respites from life in the U.S. Two years later, I am still at it!
My first research and conservation experiences in Indonesia were with The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project, an excellent organization based in Central Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). I have been working with them for the past three years, first doing field work for my Master’s thesis at Columbia University (see my research page) and then returning to work as the volunteer coordinator and a project scientist. Now I’m the Program Director for Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program, or Yayasan Palung. I’m looking forward to using this blog to promote conservation issues, spread the word about all of the hard work being done on the ground in Indonesia to save some of the world’s most iconic species, and telling all of you about my travel adventures. Thanks for reading! And if you have a chance, follow me @CassieFreund on Twitter, where I do much the same as I do on this blog but in a much shorter format.
PS- About the blog title… it’s inspired by J. Michael Fay, an ecologist who surveyed a transect that stretched over 2000 miles across the Congo Basin in 1999. His work led to 13 new national parks and $53 million dollars from the U.S. government for conservation work in the Congo, which is amazing. I once offhandedly told one of my friends that if someone ever writes a biography about me I would like to to be called “Megatransect”, a fact which she reminded me of the other day. So, since odds that someone writes my biography someday are slim, I decided to make my own. This is Megatransect, SE Asia style!