I am a primatologist who studies the effects of human interaction on monkey behavior and ecology. I hold a PhD in biological anthropology, and have many years' experience working with primates in the wild. Recently, I was invited to start research at a new field site in Costa Rica. The monkeys there (white-faced capuchins) are beginning to cause trouble - chasing tourists, raiding garbage bins, and even biting people. Obviously, this is a problem, and we need to figure out how to reduce this conflict while allowing people to see the animals in their natural habitat. I have received grant funds to conduct a short pilot study this summer, and I am eager to get to the field and see exactly what is going on with these monkeys.
Here's the problem: I am also the mother of an awesome 18-month-old. She is still nursing, and I cannot for a second imagine leaving her while I go halfway around the world. The only way I will be able to conduct this field study this summer is to bring the baby and my partner with me. The additional airfare costs are prohibitively expensive for us right now, but I would hate to lose this exciting opportunity. It's hard to have it all (career and family), but I am definitely going to try!
Can you help? I am estimating that the extra costs for flights (from England) and in-country transportation will run about $3000. If we do not meet our goal, any funds will still help me keep from resorting to the old credit card. If we exceed our funding goal, that money will be used responsibly, such as supporting a student in the field.