MJ Pramik says she’s happily returned to her solid mattress after nearly two weeks on a hard cot (with a one-inch “mattress”) in a ger (Turkish = yurt) on the Mongolian Gobi. Here is her overview:
“I had the most magical time conducting field research at the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, a five-hour jeep overland southeast of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital.
The Wildlife of the Mongolian Steppe project studies the climate changes’ effect on the ecosystem of the Reserve, home to hosts of herding families (goats, camels, sheep, and horses) and wild argali big horn sheep, ibex, and goitered gazelles.
Sponsored by EarthWatch Institute and the Denver Zoological Foundation and directed by Gana Wingard, a Mongolian researcher, we captured, tagged, then released over a half-dozen small mammals, tagged cinereous vulture fledglings (nearing the endangered list), and counted “countless” plants on the steppe surface.
Living in the Ikh Nart camp for twelve night allowed me to interview local Mongolians. Like their ancestor Chinggis Kahn before them, they hope all peoples will become part of the human family, living in peace on one planet. My articles will likely post on the Denver Zoo website and other environmental publications.”