Abstract # 214:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


S. Tecot1,2,3
1School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA, 2Laboratory for the Evolutionary Endocrinology of Primates, 3Centre ValBio
     Primatologists often engage with local human populations when conducting field research, in a range of contexts and roles. While engagement is often need-based, to help facilitate research, the ultimate aim is to translate and disseminate research goals and findings. I focus on primatologists conducting research in Madagascar, and discuss the types of interactions that occur with local communities. Researchers interact with community members as teachers, students, collaborators, and scientific experts. I highlight proximate and ultimate goals of these interactions from the researchers’ perspective. Proximate goals may focus on benefits to research. For example, training technicians in new field methods helps facilitate data collection. Local knowledge of the site and location of animals, previous (published and unpublished) research, and suitability of certain methods can be invaluable to researchers. Ultimate goals include capacity building at universities and specific field sites, disseminating results to policy makers and communities, and developing long-term research collaborations. It is hoped that community engagement promotes scientific literacy in graduate students involved in research, and non-formally educated local populations; a non-commoditized valuation of the natural environment and scientific research; and innovative research projects. I discuss plans for more active, measurable community engagement as a result of incorporating capacity building during grant proposal preparation; costs and benefits of the various types of interactions that researchers experience; and how we can assess whether goals are met.