Life since the cyclone has gotten very studious. Since then, the students have been working nonstop on preparing their final Directed Research papers. This project is the compilation of all their work, and students have many opportunities to present and share their findings with the community.  The group working with Professor Justus Kithiia — the “Nomads” — looked at the possibility of implementing an ecotourism program focusing on the culture of the Mandingalbay Yidinji people.

On May 1st, the students were lucky enough to speak at the beginning of a seminar for community affairs held by the group. There, each of the four students in the group was able to relay back the information they collected.  Throughout the presentation, questions were asked and terms were clarified.  The community truly wanted to understand what the opportunities and issues were and what the students recommended for the future. Everyone was excited and thrilled to see how it all turned out.

As this was one of the last times we would be able to visit the Mandingalbay Yidinji people before the semester ends, there were a lot of “goodbyes,” “good lucks,” and wishes for the best in the future. I am personally excited to continue working with the Mandingalbay Yidinji people in the upcoming semesters and will gladly relay updates and information on how the program is doing back to all the students.

Coming up on May 6th, all the students will have the opportunity to share their knowledge at the Yungaburra Community Night.  There, students will present posters of their work to the community and answer questions regarding their studies.  To conclude the night, several students have been selected to present their research presentations to the entire community.  Many community members have already asked me about some of the research and what students will be talking about.

This night is held in high regard with the community.  These final presentations are ultimately why our research has such an impact.  By bringing findings to the community, community members are able to take what the students learn and apply it to their lives to ultimately make their impacts on nature as harmless as possible.