My friend Ian Guthrie was the first one who told me about volunteering. Of course, I knew about volunteers for years, but he was the first one who told me about his experience helping with lemur research in Madagascar. He sent me pictures of little primates being fed, measured, monitored, etc. I remember registering the fact that he did it because he really likes animals and it was a super exciting trip for him even though he had to pay to do it.
Ian started working as a programmer for AOL right after high school, got his Associate degree, and kept working for 10 years before he left AOL and moved from DC area to Boulder, Colorado. Today he works for a company that is doing an online Lego game and that is where Lego is headquartered. You can check out the company and some of the games they produce here: http://www.netdevil.com/ Ian is a great hacker, but has other interests, like reading books about WWII, visiting battle sites and traveling. He is an avid hiker, biker, and of course he loves nature and animals!
Ian just got back from South Africa, where he volunteered in a game reserve. He was helping to monitor wildlife and learn about wildlife conservation.
“My original interest in doing the trip was to be able to work with the African Wild Dog. The organization that hosted the trip was one of the only ones I found that allowed volunteers to do this. Since the trip sounded very interesting and somewhat exciting, that was enough to get me to sign up.
The adventure started when I landed at my final destination. I met my three travel companions who also signed up for the trip, and then eventually our guide.
We then headed to town to pickup supplies (cookies, etc) and then on to the game reserve where we would spend the next two weeks tracking some of the big predators in the park, and possibly some other wildlife such as Elephants.”
His full story with pictures is here http://www.sifakaphoto.com/southafrica/southafrica.html