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Hyperolius Ocellatus (Photo: David Montgomery); David Montgomery (Photo: Sam Dean)
EGVistas Magazine
Drexel’s Man in Malabo
By William Van Swearingen
EGVistas MagazineEGVistas Magazine

Bioko Red-eared Gueron (Photo: Araks Ohanyan)David Montgomery is the resident director of Drexel University’s study abroad program on Bioko Island, which is a collaboration with the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) and the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP).

On average the program accepts eight American students and an equal number from UNGE. Students come to study the rich tropical biodiversity and its conservation, and to conduct field work in Bioko’s pristine rainforests, which cover the island, from sea level to near the top of its three volcanic peaks, the highest being Mount Pico Basilé at 9,878 feet.

Seven species of monkey are genetically unique to Bioko. The black volcanic sand beaches are the nesting grounds for four species of sea turtles, including the giant Leatherneck which can weigh up to a ton and be seven feet long. The largely pristine forests are home to 200 unique species of birds and other diverse flora and fauna.

The resident director takes care of all the logistics of the study abroad program, acts as a liaison with UNGE and the BBPP, arranges living accommodations for students in a program house in Malabo and organizes frequent field trips to improve understanding of the island and the country.

Montgomery says that security is a concern for the visiting American scholars, but that the crime rate in Malabo and Bioko is low. “We require students go out in groups of at least two and we do have a curfew for midnight, which is strictly enforced,” he says.

In addition to working from the program’s house in Malabo, students get to use the facilities at the Moka Wildlife Center. Moka is an agricultural village high in the mountains of southern Bioko, from where students can hike deep into the lush forests.

A native of Chicago, Montgomery is about to begin his third year as the resident director for Drexel’s program. He notes the country is not widely known but “it’s a fascinating place with a wide-range of cultural, linguistic and environmental elements to discover.”

Montgomery supplements his work for Drexel with exploring the country and expanding his collection of photographs of its people, places and wildlife.

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EG Vistas Malabo Guide

EG Vistas Magazine

EGVistas Magazine summer 2014
Summer 2014

Vistas - Summer 2014 Articles

Summer 2014 Articles

Building for the Future
Interview NJ Ayuk:
An Improving Business Climate Brings Horizon 2020 Goals Closer
Return for Investment
Higher Education Gets a Major Boost
CANIGE: First-Class Schooling
La Paz: World-Class Healthcare at
Reasonable Rates
A Successful US-EG Collaboration to Protect Bioko's Wildlife
Drexel's Man in Malabo
Interview Cathy Krajicek:
Marathon's Investment in Equatorial Guinea
Iconic Cathedral of Malabo Gets a Facelift
A Museum of Modern Art
Miss Yuma: A Voice to Remember

Interview Guillermina Mekuy
Mba Obono:

From Biodiversity to Business Travel

New Vaccine Could Rid Bioko of Malaria
by 2020
Getting There
Staying There
Maps of Malabo
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