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The Trainee is Now a Trainer!

I am so impressed and proud! Aristide Kamla, who came to Florida for training last November, has already held his own training workshop in Cameroon! Last weekend Kamla provided training in data collection and use of field equipment (including collecting environmental data, looking for signs of manatee feeding, identification of manatee food plants, and of course how to search for the manatees themselves) at Lake Ossa, where he conducted his own Masters research. Four students attended, and all are working on their Masters degrees at University of Dschang and University of Douala (two at each school), and several hope to study manatees. The group was also accompanied by Kamla’s advisor from the University of Dschang, a local wildlife officer, and three boat drivers.

Kamla teaching the students how to fill out datasheets and use field equipment befiore setting out on the Lake.

 Kamla and his advisor (middle) with two of the students.

 This is an amazing effort and exactly what I hoped for when I began training African colleagues- that they would use their knowledge not only to research and conserve manatees, but to train others in their countries and increase the capacity of others for conservation. Kudos to Kamla and his team, I think manatees have new hope for long-term survival in Cameroon!

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