I have been very fortunate to be blessed with good health and the opportunity to travel to some truly amazing places to conduct research over the past 35 years. Traveling on shoestring budgets, I have been witness to cultures and lifestyles few get to experience. My wanderlust, fueled by my love of field research, enabled me to take my "book" learning to levels I had never imagined.
I was in Vanuatu in the Southwest Pacific, continuing my studies of porcine intersexuality, when my colleague, friend and mentor, Dr. I Lehr Brisbin, requested I extend my trip to travel to the remote Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where I was to search for the elusive Highland Wild Dog (similar to or the same as the New Guinea Singing Dog). 20 years later, after 3 1/2 years of persistence and perseverance, I was able to return to the island of New Guinea. This time the western side, Papua Province, to once again pursue Bris’ and my mutual passion - documenting the existence of New Guinea Highland Wild Dogs, which many thought to be extinct.
When traveling in third world countries, especially on the island of New Guinea, logistical challenges are an everyday occurrence. Nonetheless, with some luck and perseverance, I was able to take part in the documentation of Highland Wild Dogs for the first time in over 50 years. I have long realized the importance of the HWD as a key “missing link” canid that held the answers to so many questions that science has yet to reveal. Given the tremendous amount of work to be accomplished and the need to conserve this invaluable resource, Dr. Brisbin and I thought it important to create the New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation. With our motto of “Science First”, the NGHWDF represents a resource rich, all inclusive platform for future pursuits regarding the HWD and NGSD.
I am personally honored and humbled to be party to the rediscovery of HWDs living in their natural environment and the sheer immensity of the science and research that is to follow. And I am so very pleased to have you join us on this journey.