McNair Research Fellow
Cynthia Malone is currently a senior undergraduate completing a B.S. in Anthropology and Zoology. Under the mentorship of Dr. Holly Gibbs, she is working on a McNair Scholar summer research project focused on the oil palm industry in Indonesia. Research will examine alternatives to oil palm expansion into forested lands by exploring the use of previously cleared or degraded lands. Although new to the field of land-use change, she has a long-standing interest in environmental practices in tropical ecosystems, particularly Southeast Asia.
Cynthia has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of research experiences in conservation, including IUCN species endangerment assessments and research as a National Science Foundation REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) student at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. The later years of her undergraduate experience have been dedicated to exploring the varied environments, policies, and cultures of Indonesia both in and out of the classroom. She completed three semesters of Indonesian language and continues to practice informally. Under the guidance of Dr. Karen B. Strier, she was awarded the Holstrom Environmental Scholarship to work with the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project in Central Kalimantan, Borneo for a senior Honors thesis on orangutan density and nesting preferences
After graduation in December, Cynthia hopes to attend a graduate program in Fall 2013 that will allow her to combine passions for conservation, diverse landscapes, and primates of all varieties in mitigating the dynamic anthropogenic pressures that affect tropical ecosystems.