Dr. Janet Nackoney, Associate Research Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences, just returned from Nairobi, Kenya, where she participated in the 27th International Primatological Society (IPS) Congress. The IPS is the only internationally-based society organized exclusively for the scientific study of primates. The trip was co-funded by the University of Maryland Dean’s Research Initiative and the Department of Geographical Sciences Research Faculty Travel funds. The purpose of her trip was to further build external collaborations through her research on tropical forest monitoring and conservation of the bonobo, a great ape endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in addition to co-leading two organized sessions as part of the African Primatological Consortium for Conservation (APCC; https://www.apcprimatologists.org/). The mission of the APCC is to promote, maintain, and sustain the conservation of African primates through collaborative research, partnerships and capacity building of young primatologists.
Dr. Nackoney is Technical Advisor on the APCC leadership team and teaches the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mobile data collection for primate conservation. Other APCC Technical Advisors and leaders are affiliated with Kyoto University (Japan), Makerere University (Uganda), and the African Wildlife Foundation, among others. The APCC now has approximately seven active collaborative groups comprising of members of African universities and African conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs) covering the topics of primate observation and resource use, forest habitat monitoring, anti-poaching and wildlife patrolling. Much of the research of these collaborative groups focuses on the use of technical tools such as GIS mapping, camera traps, acoustic sensors and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to assist conservation efforts.
As part of the IPS Congress, Dr. Nackoney co-organized and co-led a symposium that highlighted the accomplishments of these APCC collaborations and a roundtable discussion among participants. She also participated actively in a set of strategic planning meetings to help plan and support the future of the APCC. She also helped further a few different research projects with which she is an active collaborator.