When the president of the College of the Atlantic, Darron Collins, came to visit Northside, he talked specifically about his experience with saving the Hucho taimen population in Mongolia.
He went on to explain that the reason for the decrease in the taimen population was because of wealthy Mongolians and Eastern Europeans coming to the Onon River to trophy hunt. The attempts to demonstrate social status by having these huge fish on display reflected the economic growth of Mongolia because of its success in the mining industry and its rising upper class. It is a new perspective to think about when we see geology affecting economics affecting social stratification affecting taimen populations.
There was a moment when President Collins stopped to point out how much more knowledge the local people have of the land and how reliant they were on it for their livelihood. I didn’t realize how much ecology relied on the efforts of the nearby communities and the efforts of the scientists to find an ideal solution for both. In the end, it was the mutualistic relationship between the locals and the taimen that helped to drive the goal of protecting these fish.
This lecture hammered home the idea that many professions require a broad range of skills, even in something as seemingly specific as being an ecologist.
Hogan, Zeb. Taimen [Online Image]. Retrieved October 28, 2015 from http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-live/photos/000/007/cache/taimen_730_600x450.jpg