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I'm a Science Teacher, Nature Photographer, Husband, Father, and Grandfather who loves to explore the natural world by traveling, photographing and thinking. 

MINDS WORK BEST WHEN OPEN!  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Off to South Africa!

Greetings Blue Lion friends! This post is to give you a preview of what’s going to be happening on the Blue Lion Blog over the coming weeks. I am in the process of getting ready to depart on a 3 week trip to South Africa that I am looking forward to sharing with all of you. 

The first part of my trip will occur once I land in South Africa from July 6th – 12th. I’ll be spending that time at the unique NThambo Tree Camp – a really interesting small safari camp located in the Klaserie Nature Preserve just west of Kruger National Park. This camp attracted me because of its small size and very small eco footprint as the camp only houses a maximum of 10 guests in 5 rooms (or “chalets” as they are called). Each of these chalets is basically a high quality tent that sits atop a 20 foot tall platform. I’m excited at the possibility of having any of the wildlife in the area potentially sleeping under my floor on any given night!  Check out this video that was shot in May of a Cheetah kill that was next to the chalet I’ll be staying in! 




Promo video for Nthambo Tree Camp


While at NThambo I’ll do my best to share images and video, but WiFi connection in the South African bush are pretty spotty, even on a good day. 

On July 12th I’ll fly back to Johannesburg and have a great opportunity to reconnect with Dr. Lee Berger and his team at Wits University. During my time here, I will be working to help develop curricular materials surrounding the Rising Star Expedition’s discoveries from 2013. The over 1700 fossils that were recovered during a challenging month long excavation in a cave located within the Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg.  During the expedition in November 2013 Dr. Berger's team live tweeted the daily events and I then created a "Twitter Play by Play" which is here on the blog - Rising Star Expedition Blog Post - 11/2013 . You'll hopefully hear about results of Rising Star in the news once the findings are officially published in scientific journals.

During my time there I will be studying fossils from Rising Star as well as the nearby site of Malapa where Australopithecus sediba was discovered in 2009. I will also be interviewing researchers involved with both projects so that my future students, fellow teachers, and the general public can gain a better appreciation of the science and the scientific process behind such discoveries. 

Karabo Skull (A.sediba)
Skull of "Karabo" a young male Australopithecus sediba individual.

Please feel free to revisit the Blue Lion Blog to stay updated on my my photographic & scientific adventures this coming month. Also feel free to post comments and questions below. I’ll do my best to reply! 

1 comment:

Cynthia McWilliams said...

Absolutely wonderful John! I am sooo jealous, but looking forward to your posts!!