Northeastern Section - 49th Annual Meeting (23–25 March)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:45 AM


BARRATT, Nikki, Na, American School of Yaounde, 2520 Yaounde place, Washington, DC 20521, Cameroon,

Doc Thompson taught me about the power of field science and how it changes lives. He inspired me to be curious, open-minded and reflective. When I met him, I was a “Mall chick from Jersey” and after I left his field science program, I had become a woman dedicated to preserving the natural world, ready to spread the message of conservation, confident in my knowledge and with a broad range of skills to pull it off!

After completing an MS in Geology at Brown and a PhD in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, I have been teaching earth and environmental science, as well as other math and science classes in Middle, High School and Colleges for 20 years. I have incorporated lots of field science projects into my curriculum, working extensively with Universities, NGO's and government organizations securing funding for this research and restoration work. Allowing students to see the application of the theory in real world situations shows them the importance of field science and also offers them the opportunity to do good work for their community. I also hope that I have continued the good work of Doc Thompson in inspiring youth to pursue careers in Earth and Environmental Science. Student research projects have included delineating the extent of marine mammal illness in San Francisco Bay, documenting the impact of eutrophication on coral reefs in the Florida Keys, finding the source of a cholera outbreak in a Zambian Village, designating the first community park in Lusaka, determining the extent of heavy metal contamination in a wetland in Madagascar, spearheading “Fight Global Climate Change” week at several schools, starting a fish and water quality monitoring program in Florida, restoring a salmon stream in California, and creating a community peace garden. Several of these projects have resulted in publication in peer-reviewed journals – a real bonus for high school and college students! More recently I have been working with a primate sanctuary here in Yaounde, Cameroon. We have designed enrichment activities for orphan chimpanzees, built trail signs, a picnic area, hand-washing and drinking water filtration systems. We are also sponsoring a family fun day at the Sanctuary that will include a 5K fun run – something Doc would also have loved!

  • Alan Thompson Tribute.pptx (7.3 MB)