The Hooded Grebe (Podiceps gallardoi) is a critically endangered species of bird that breeds in the high Patagonian plateus of southern Argentina. Wildife conservation is my life's passion and researching an endangered species in a rugged corner of the world has been a lifelong dream of mine, so when I found an opportunity to be a volunteer on the Hooded Grebe Project listed on the job page of the Ornithological Society of North America website, I sent an application almost immediately. When I got the acceptance email, I was so happy that I literally leapt and screamed for joy! Not only will this fulfill a lifelong dream, but it will also give me a great push toward graduate school.
I will be in Argentina from December 1st until February 27th and need funding to help cover the costs of my plane tickets to and from Buenos Aires as well as personal gear. This is a serious field project; we will be camping in the Patagonian plateus, a rather inhospitable landscape. For this trip I will need quality personal gear. The gear I have was good enough to get me through my B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M, but it will not cut it for my Patagonian adventure. Among the things I need are a good pair of binoculars, a lightweight sleeping bag that will protect me from the crazy weather there, thermal underwear (what can I say, there is not much need for this in south Texas), a small netbook to update and keep track of my friends and family in the states, a lightweight backpack, sunscreen, gloves, a better camera, warm hats, and other miscellaneous useful things.
The Fabulous Rewards
I am an artist and amateur photographer, so as rewards I am offering sketches to be delivered either as digital copies or physical copies depending on the donation level. Donators will recieve them before I leave for Argentina. For the highest level, $50+, you'll get digital copies of 10 photos from my trip after I return in addition to sketches. To see examples of my art and photography, please see my DeviantArt gallery: goshawk.deviantart.com. My cartoon sketches are always fun!