Mini-Documentary: Baboon Edition

My biology class is focused on baboons and the microbiomes living within them. In my earlier posts and blog entries, I covered how my class went on a trip to Notre Dame University and learned about microbiomes from a scientist who worked there and had studied microbiomes during her trip to Kenya to observe a tribe of yellow baboons.

As an assignment, we got the privilege to make a short documentary about what we learned and did that day.  To read more about that you can go to my other posts which are linked at the beginning of this entry.

To make this video possible I use varies clips and pictures we took on the trip and a few that were taken in Kenya when Dr. Archie conducted her studies.

Here is the script I used to narrate my video:

Notre Dame University was the destination I was headed to on October 26th. My biology class specializes in baboons and their microbiomes. We were blessed enough to be able to go to a nearby college and learn more about the components and effects of the microbiomes living in the baboons.  Microbiomes are like the small communities of bacteria living on and around your body

We start off the day going to the Galvin Life Science Center where Dr. Archie talked about her experiences in Amboseli and how interesting her research was. She gave detailed observations of what she had seen and how the social interactions were between baboons.  Since the baboons live on savannahs sometimes Dr.Archie and her group of fellow researchers had to lay low while observing the primates because all the baboons could see her, but unless she did something drastic they wouldn’t bother her. The group that studied with her in Kenya put radio collars on the baboons to track their social interactions and see if there is a specific hierarchy system that the yellow baboons followShe confirmed through her studies that there are baboons of higher status than others in a community and those with better status are respected more by other baboons in that same troop.

Soon after her presentation was finished, my class split into two groups. One half of us stayed and learned how to identify baboons through alleles and DNA patterns.

The other group was sent off to the Jordan Hall of Science to go more in depth into what might be in yellow baboon microbiomes.  More specifically we learned about parasites and bacteria that were in baboons.

We worked with a parasitologist who showed us how to identify the most common parasites we might find in what we were observing in that activity.

To find out about what is in baboons we have to find what comes out. We got to observe a sample of baboon feces from Amboseli and look for parasites using a microscope.  We looked vigorously for bacteria and parasites until the time was up.

After we explored baboon feces we headed off to lunch at the Huddle to take a quick lunch break.

The last activity of the day was located back at the Galvin  Life Science Center to listen to three Notre Dame students. They talked about college and preparations you may have to or want to do.  We were able to ask questions about how life is in college and what it is like transitioning from high school to college.

As the day was drawing to an end we thanked all those who were at Notre Dame who helped us in our day and made this opportunity possible. We also thanked our teachers for putting together this trip and planning it. And thus, comes the end to the Notre Dame Baboon Field Trip.

I had fun with this challenging assignment and there is more to see what I made about my fascinating field trip in my other post.




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