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					Thinking Like an Elephant in
       Thailand 2013
Dear earthwatchers,                                            In addition to helping our scientists and staff conduct
welcome to the Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand           behavioral experiments aimed at better understanding
expedition in the beautiful Golden triangle of northern        how elephants see their physical and social worlds (also
thailand! Our research program focuses on the study            known as the study of physical and social cognition),
of elephant behavior and cognition (intelligence) using        you will participate in some of our community outreach
captive elephants as participants. the Golden triangle         and international education initiatives aimed at bringing
asian elephant Foundation (GtaeF) is a thai-registered         elephants—both physically and virtually—to others in
nonprofit foundation established both to promote humane        thailand and around the world.
captive elephant welfare management, and to raise funds        we look forward to telling you more about our foundation,
and awareness for wild elephant conservation. GtaeF,           as well as the current status of captive and wild elephants
based at the anantara Golden triangle resort and spa,          in thailand, when we meet you on the first day of your
is home to 26 elephants; the foundation provides a home        expedition.
for the elephant and its mahout (caretaker), as well as        Yours sincerely,
a village-style home and environment for the mahout’s
family. Our work is mainly focused on learning more about      Joshua Plotnik
elephants in general, and, through another nonprofit
foundation, think elephants International (teI), educating     earthwatch scientist
the public about what we already know as a way of              head of research
contributing substantially to the conservation of thailand’s   John roberts
endangered wild elephants (see
                                                               Director of elephants
for more details).

                                                                                       Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
table of contents
      General Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

      The Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

      Your Destination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

      Daily Life in the Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

      Accommodations and Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

      Travel Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

      Travel Tips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

      Project Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

      Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

      Project Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

      Recommended Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

      Participant Rights and Responsibilities . . . . . 24

      GTAEF Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

      Communications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

      Message from Earthwatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Images © earthwatch, Dr. Jenny cousins, Dr. Josh Plotnik

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                      1
    General Information
    thinking Like an elephant in thailand

    Earthwatch Scientist: Dr. Joshua Plotnik          Expedition Dates:
    Research Site: Golden triangle, thailand             Team 1: May 19 – May 28, 2013
                                                         Team 2: June 7 – June 16, 2013
                                                         Team 3: June 27 – July 6, 2013
                                                         Team 4: July 17 – July 26, 2013
                                                         Team 5: sept. 1 – sept. 10, 2013
     Rendezvous and departure information is             Team 6: sept. 18 – sept. 27, 2013
     available in the print version of the briefing      Team 7: Oct. 5 – Oct 14, 2013
                                                         Team 8: Oct. 22 – Oct. 31, 2013

2                                                                         Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
      trIP PLanner

    tO DO IMMeDIateLY                                             section, pg. 14, for details).
        Book an appointment with a doctor; you’ll need him        If you plan to purchase additional travel insurance,
        or her to sign the health section of your earthwatch      note that some policies require purchase when
        Participation Form.                                       your expedition is booked (see the Insurance
        Make sure you understand and agree to                     section, pg. 21, for more information).
        earthwatch policies and participant responsibilities.     If traveling internationally, make sure your passport
    Note: If you have signed up for an expedition within          is current and obtain a visa for your destination
    90 days of the start date, you must return your fully         country, if necessary (see the Passports and Visas
    completed volunteer forms as soon as possible.                section, pg. 17, for more details).
                                                                  Make sure you have all the necessary vaccinations
    90 DaYs PrIOr tO exPeDItIOn                                   for your project site (see the health Information
        Complete and return your volunteer forms. Below           section, pg. 20).
        are the specific forms required for this expedition:      Bring your level of fitness up to the standards
        Earthwatch Participation Form for Adults                  required (see the Project conditions section, pg.
        Travel Form
      european volunteers can download forms on: www.           60 DaYs PrIOr tO exPeDItIOn                        review the packing list (pg. 4) to make sure you
      U.s. and north american volunteers can download             have all the clothing, personal supplies, and
      forms at:                 equipment needed.

      australian volunteers can download forms on: www.         30 DaYs PrIOr tO exPeDItIOn
                                                                  Leave the earthwatch 24-hour helpline number
      Japanese volunteers can download forms on: www.             with a friend or relative (see the inside back cover).
                                                                  Leave copies of your passport, visa, and airline
                                                                  tickets with a friend or relative.
        Pay any outstanding balance on your expedition.
                                                                  confirm your travel arrangements.
        Book travel arrangements (see the travel Planning

       Read this expedition briefing thoroughly. It provides the most accurate information available at
       the time of your earthwatch scientist’s project planning, and will likely answer any questions you
       have about the project. however, please also keep in mind that research requires improvisation,
       and you may need to be flexible. research plans evolve in response to new findings, as well as
       to unpredictable factors such as weather, equipment failure, and travel challenges. to enjoy your
       expedition to the fullest, remember to expect the unexpected, be tolerant of repetitive tasks, and
       try to find humor in difficult situations. If there are any major changes in the research plan or field
       logistics, earthwatch will make every effort to keep you well informed before you go into the field.

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                 3
         exPeDItIOn PackInG checkLIst

    reqUIreD IteMs                                                 several items of clothing for working outside
                                                                   rain gear, which may include ponchos, rain jackets,
                                                                   or rain hats (umbrellas are not useful)
      this expedition briefing
      Photocopies of your passport, flight itinerary, and      cLOthInG/FOOtwear FOr LeIsUre
      credit cards in case the originals are lost or stolen;       at least one set of clothing to keep clean for end of
      the copies should be packed separately from the              expedition
      original documents
                                                                   One set of clothing for trips into town or other non-
      Passport and/or visa (if necessary)                          field use
      certification of vaccination (if necessary)
                                                               FIeLD sUPPLIes
      Documentation for travel by minors (if necessary)
      (see Volunteers Under 18 Years of age in the travel          small daypack
      tips section, pg. 17)                                        Insect repellent spray
                                                                   water bottle
    cLOthInG/FOOtwear FOr FIeLDwOrk
      earthwatch t-shirt                                           Good, wide-brimmed hat for sun protection

      Lightweight, quick-drying, long-sleeved shirts               sunglasses

      Lightweight, quick-drying, long pants/trousers           BeDDInG anD BathInG
      shorts                                                   Note: Blankets, pillows, and towels will be provided at the
      t-shirts                                                 accommodations.
      Flip-flops                                               PersOnaL sUPPLIes
      comfortable hiking or walking shoes or boots                 Personal toiletries (biodegradable soaps and

4                                                                                   Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
      shampoos are encouraged)                                   Drybag or plastic sealable bags (good for protecting
      antibacterial wipes or lotion (good for cleaning           equipment like cameras from dust, humidity, and
      hands while in the field)                                  water)
      Personal first-aid kit (e.g., anti-diarrhea pills,         camera, film/memory card(s), extra camera battery
      antibiotics, antiseptic, itch-relief, pain reliever,       headlamp with extra batteries and extra bulb
      bandages, blister covers, etc.), and personal
                                                                 hardware (UsB key or hard drive) for sharing digital
      sunscreen lotion with sPF 30 or higher
                                                                 photographs at the end of the expedition
  MIsceLLaneOUs                                                  travel guide
      spending money (at least Us$200)                           Books, games, journal, art supplies, etc. for free time
                                                             Note: required and optional items lists are accurate
  OPtIOnaL IteMs                                             to the best of earthwatch’s knowledge at the time of
      Bathing suit                                           publication.

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                 5
    the research
    thinking Like an elephant in thailand

    the stOrY                                                       Further investigation into elephant behavior will help
    Many people regard elephants as one of the most                 scientists to better understand the evolution of intelligence
    intelligent species on earth, but remarkably little empirical   in non-primates, and to develop strategies for mitigating
    evidence exists to support this assumption. Few                 conflict between humans and elephants—specifically, the
    studies have explored how elephants think about their           encroachment of wild elephants onto private land—that
    environment and about each other. recent research in            consider the social and physical intelligence of elephants
    this area—including research into mirror self-recognition       in the wild. also, the more we learn about elephants, the
    and cooperation, much of which we have conducted in             more we can educate the public about our need to protect
    thailand over the past few years—suggests that elephants        them. and they certainly need our support. elephants are
    are indeed a socially complex, empathic species, and that       severely endangered throughout their range, but asian
    in many ways, their behavior is like our own.                   elephants in thailand face particularly dire circumstances:
                                                                    only just over 3,000 remain in captivity and just over 3,000
                                                                    still live in the wild.

6                                                                                       Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
research aIMs                                                  hOw YOU wILL heLP
the Golden triangle asian elephant Foundation (GtaeF),         working closely with the elephants and their mahouts
the thai nonprofit organization that will host you on this     on site, the research staff conducts a wide range of
expedition, was founded to give street-begging elephants       studies on memory, cooperation, problem solving, and
from Bangkok and their mahouts, or caretakers, a good          reasoning. You’ll have the chance to help with all stages of
home. we work to tackle elephant conservation issues in        the research, as well as to get to know some of the local
thailand through research and educational programming,         community members. activities including the following:
and provide a home to 26 elephants, both male and              Main task: experiments on elephant cognition. You’ll help
female, ranging from four to over 60 years old. GtaeF also     videotape these experiments and take on roles before,
raises substantial funds for larger conservation programs.     during, and after testing (including as a time keeper,
earthwatch scientist Dr. Joshua Plotnik’s research at          experimental apparatus operator, and elephant food
GtaeF focuses on the study of elephant behavior and            controller). You’ll also help collect data in spreadsheets
intelligence. through this work, we hope to learn more         during and after experiments and behavioral observation
about how elephants work together to solve problems;           periods and, later, help input the data on a computer.
how they process information in their social and physical      Daily care of elephants. You may work with staff
environments; how they remember the location of family         veterinarians to treat sick elephants or help perform
members, food sources, and water sources; and how they         routine veterinary checks.
interact with each other and with people both in and out of
their natural environments. this knowledge gives wildlife      Educational programs. You’ll have the chance to help
management personnel a new tool for tackling human–            with our local community and international outreach
elephant conflict by providing insight into the needs of       programs, which include live “visits” via skype between
wild elephants—to mitigate conflict, one must consider         our elephants and students in new York city and thailand.
the needs of both sides. the more we understand about          specifically, you will spend time with the research
elephant behavior, the more likely we are to come up with      and education staff designing long-term conservation
viable conservation protocols and solutions to human–          education programming for both western and thai
elephant conflict that benefit both the elephants and the      students.
people involved.                                               You may observe some of the skype meetings and help
we have found that the easiest way to gain the attention of    teach english to local children. You may also help with our
young people in local communities is to get them involved      educational programs for guests at the anantara Golden
in the research and implementation of management plans,        triangle resort and spa hotel and on other programs that
and show them why the work is important. at GtaeF, we          involve education initiatives in the U.s. and thailand.
have had the greatest impact on children by letting them       Discussions and presentations. You’ll get to hear from
see elephant intelligence firsthand. the revelation that       experts on topics like elephant behavior, general animal
these animals are not so different from us inspires the next   behavior, elephant conservation in thailand, and thai
generation of conservationists to work to protect them. to     culture and language. You may also hear from outside
this end, Dr. Plotnik founded think elephants International    experts in other areas of conservation, epidemiology, and
(teI), a U.s.-based nonprofit focused on the design of         entomology. On average, you will participate in three to
education curricula that link school-aged student scientists   five structured lectures or discussions on topics relevant to
with research in the field. Visit for   the project during your expedition.
more information.
                                                               Visits to local hill tribe communities. You’ll have the
                                                               unusual opportunity to get to know some locals by joining
                                                               in on community activities such as english lessons and by
                                                               visiting local community development projects.

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                     7
    Your Destination
    about thailand
                                                                    please contact Dr. Plotnik directly to make arrangements
                                                                    (see the communications section, pg. 32 for contact
                                                                    the staff of the guesthouse and the main elephant
                                                                    camp speaks english, but the mahouts and their families
                                                                    generally do not. almost everyone speaks central thai
                                                                    as well, which is the primary language of communication
                                                                    with foreigners fluent in thai. although sob ruak is a
                                                                    northern thai village where the predominant language is
                                                                    the northern dialect of kham Mueang, the mahouts and
                                                                    their families are from northeastern thailand and speak
                                                                    the dialects of surin province.
                                                                    thailand is a beautiful country to visit, as attested to by
                                                                    the many millions of international tourists who come every
                                                                    year. while traveling around the region, you’ll see richly
                                                                    decorated wats (Buddhist temples) and monks on their
                                                                    alms rounds (if you get up early enough). In Bangkok,
                                                                    you can visit the Grand Palace, travel on the chao Phraya
                                                                    river via river taxi, visit noodle shacks, and enjoy an array
                                                                    of fresh tropical fruit, among many other highlights. we
                                                                    suggest purchasing a good travel guide for the country to
                                                                    fully explore all that it has to offer.

    On this expedition you’ll visit chiang rai province’s Golden
    triangle in northern thailand. the field site is located in
    a beautiful area right on the Mekong river, at the point
    where it enters the Lower Mekong Basin (and where the
    borders of thailand, Laos, and Burma converge). Our
    research takes place on the property of the anantara
    Golden triangle resort and spa, a luxury hotel complex in
    the small village of sob ruak. sob ruak, a typical northern
    thai village, has great food and beautiful, open night skies
    (in the dry season, at least). the village is home to several
    beautiful temples, as well as food and clothing markets.
    You won’t stay in the anantara resort, but instead in a
    simple, clean, and friendly guesthouse close to the resort.
    If you wish to extend your trip and stay at the anantara
    resort itself before or after the earthwatch expedition,

8                                                                                        Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
                               Myanmar (Burma)

                                                        Anatara Resort and
                                                          Spa, Sob Ruak



Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                          9
  Daily Life in the Field
  Plans and Policies
 On the first evening and into the first day, we’ll give you an              an elephant without a mahout present, or engages in
 overview of the research project and GtaeF’s and teI’s                      any elephant contact that endangers the participant,
 nonprofit programs, and an overview of elephant behavior                    other individuals, or the elephants (e.g., does not wait for
 and the cognition research done to date. Most importantly,                  approval from field staff before approaching an elephant,
 before you see your first elephant, we will go over safety                  or disobeys the direction of camp personnel), we will
 protocol and expectations. On the morning of your first full                contact earthwatch and remove the participant from
 day, we’ll go to the elephant camp for an introduction to                   the expedition immediately. we take the safety of the
 the elephants and a tour, and then, in the afternoon, you’ll                elephants, the mahouts, and their families very seriously,
 have a chance to see our research methods demonstrated                      and will not tolerate any violations of safety protocols,
 and to ask questions. You’ll start applying your new                        which are in place to protect everyone involved.
 knowledge in the field on the second full day.                              You must sign an elephant camp release form on
 none of the research activities will be particularly                        arrival. this is a GtaeF requirement for working with the
 strenuous, although if you’re willing and able, you can help                elephants, without exception. a copy of the release is
 with manual labor.                                                          included for reference (pg. 27); the form will be given
 Recreational Time: You’ll have time to rest after morning                   to you to sign on the day you arrive. You must also sign
 activities (usually from about 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.,                    intellectual property and research policy forms on that
 which includes lunch) and from about 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.                    day. You cannot participate in any research or elephant
 each day. research days are fairly flexible, because we                     activities until all of these forms are signed.
 need to work collaboratively with the mahouts and their                     Photography and Video: Due to the nature of the
 elephants. research schedules also change regularly due                     research projects, taking photographs and videos during
 to concerns about elephant health, which always comes                       experiments is strictly prohibited. there will be plenty
 first, and weather. we will plan a group excursion on the                   of opportunities for you to take photos of and with the
 recreational day to a nearby hill tribe village or a special                elephants, but photographs and videos of the research
 community project. Please bring about Us$50 to cover                        itself are prohibited (with some exceptions). staff will fully
 any costs for souvenirs and entry fees for this recreational                brief you on photography and video rules on the first day
 day. You may have other opportunities to buy souvenirs                      of the expedition.
 and relax, so you may wish to bring funds for that.                         Alcohol: the field team staff will advise on the
                                                                             appropriateness of alcohol consumption that takes
  aDDItIOnaL POLIcIes                                                        place anywhere but at the accommodations; alcohol
  Contact with elephants—very important: we have a zero-                     consumption with local villagers often has implications of
  tolerance policy regarding contact with the elephants, on                  which earthwatch participants may not be aware. the field
  which you’ll receive a full briefing on your first day. If at              team highly recommends that participants keep alcohol
  any point during the expedition a participant approaches

     earthwatch recreatIOnaL tIMe POLIcY
     Project staff will generally accompany participants from the rendezvous to the end of the expedition. For recreational days, when
     no research activities are scheduled, earthwatch scientists will offer either a team activity or a range of recreational activities that
     comply with earthwatch standards. Participants may also remain at project accommodations. those who pursue other options
     must sign a release form.
     If there is a period of time during a regular research day when no research activities are scheduled, adult participants may leave
     the project site on their own; they will have to sign out first. Unless contacted for help, project staff will not search for a participant
     unless he or she fails to appear the following morning or for the next scheduled research activity.
     earthwatch will assess the general risks of adult participants leaving the project site, but cannot guarantee participant safety or
     an awareness of all issues. In some cases, due to local conditions, adult participants may have to stay at the project site during
     recreational time, which will be clearly communicated on site.

10                                                                                                  Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
consumption to a minimum and only during planned                 participants and staff, without exception. If you are a heavy
social activities.                                               smoker, please carefully consider this policy before joining
Smoking: Participants may smoke during breaks with               this project. Please note: this policy applies to participants
permission from earthwatch scientists or staff, but not          only, not to mahouts or other camp staff.
during research activities. By thai law, you may not smoke
in restaurants, and smoking is forbidden while eating with

                   ItInerarY anD DaILY scheDULe
  weather and research needs can lead to changes in the daily schedule. we appreciate your cooperation and

  eLePhant cOGnItIOn research DaY:
   Time of Day          Activity
   7:00 a.m. (or        Breakfast at the accommodations with research staff. Briefing on the day’s plans and/or any
   earlier)             protocol changes.
                        we’ll assign tasks for the day, taking into account team size, the status of the research projects,
                        and weather. team members may all work together,or be split into two groups. For example, half
                        of the participants might help with cognition experiments at the research site while the other half
   8:00 a.m.            stays at the elephant camp to work with the staff veterinarian and professional staff on elephant
                        veterinary care, or in our sob ruak office on education programming and data input. those
                        participating in the experiments will have specific roles for observation, data collection, and data
   10:30 a.m.           return to the research office for discussion. any remaining time is free time.

   11:30 a.m.           Lunch at the research office.
                        Volunteers who participated in the morning experiments will participate in office activities, and
   12:30 p.m.
                        vice versa.
                        all volunteers will meet at the elephant camp to observe elephants and collect social behavior
   1:30 p.m.
                        Volunteers will meet in the office for final data discussion, debriefing, and additional research
   2:30 or 3:00 p.m.
                        work, if help is needed.
                        a portion of the evening will usually be set aside for a group dinner and a planned activity,
                        such as:
                        • talks from experts on a range of topics, including the status of elephants in captivity and the
                          wild in thailand and southeast asia, the role of elephants in asian culture, elephant health and
   6:00 p.m.              reproduction, elephant intelligence, etc.
                        • Dinner in a local restaurant.
                        • trips to local villages or temples.
                        • trips to town for shopping or night markets.

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                        11
     accommodations and Food
     about Your home in the Field

     You’ll stay in a guesthouse within walking or a short driving   eLectrIcItY
     distance of the GtaeF elephant site (not at the anantara        the rooms have fans (some may
     hotel).                                                         have a/c, but we can’t guarantee it),
                                                                     electricity, and may have a refrigerator
     sLeePInG                                                        (if you require one, it can be
     the guesthouse has single and double rooms with                 arranged). electricity is reliable. You
     bedding, and we will provide transport to and from the          may bring digital cameras and other
     site and meals (as needed).. accommodation costs                electronic equipment, but at your own
     included in the earthwatch contribution cover twin (two-        risk; we suggest you make sure they
     person) rooms. couples can stay in a twin or double room        are fully insured. Field staff will not be
     (either two single beds or one large bed, depending on          responsible for damage to or loss of
     availability) without paying extra.                             your equipment at any time during the expedition.
     If you want to stay alone in a single room, you’ll need to      thai electricity is at 220 volts (in the U.s. it is 110 volts). If
     pay an additional cost of approximately 15 U.s. dollars per     you do not have appliances that are okay to use at 110-
     night (approximately 450 thai baht), which can be paid          240 volts, please either leave your equipment at home or
     directly to the earthwatch scientists on arrival. Make any      bring a converter. thai outlets fit american plugs (but not
     single room requests via earthwatch before you travel, as       Uk plugs), and may be either two- or three-prong. Please
     availability may be limited. It will be impossible to assign    bring any necessary adapters.
     single rooms on site if we are not made aware of your
     request in advance.                                             Internet anD cOMMUnIcatIOns
                                                                     Internet at the research site itself is extremely limited,
     BathrOOMs                                                       so you won’t be able to use it. You can get online at an
     each room has its own hot- and cold-water shower                Internet café in the village during designated free time,
     and conventional western-style toilets. Be prepared to          and your accommodations may have wi-Fi (costs usually
     encounter traditional thai-style squat toilets in many          range from Us$1 to 2 per hour).
     restaurants and rest stops throughout thailand.

12                                                                                         Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
aMenItIes                                                       words, what you eat for dinner at home may make a
Do not drink tap water in thailand; we’ll provide drinking      normal breakfast meal here in thailand. we encourage
water at the research site and the accommodations. If you       all participants to adapt to thai culture and prepare their
want to purchase additional water, you can find it at a low     palates accordingly. If you wish to eat differently than
price in any village shop. the guesthouse can do laundry,       the research staff, you must do so at your own additional
or we can arrange to have laundry machine-washed and            expense and effort (e.g., you may purchase yogurts, fruits
line dried in the village for approximately Us$10 a load        or other dishes at local stores or markets).
with a two-day turnaround (possibly longer in the rainy         Below are examples of the foods you might expect in
season).                                                        the field, but variety depends on availability. this list is
                                                                intended to provide a general idea of food types, but it is
DIstance tO FIeLD sIte                                          very important that you be flexible.
the guesthouse is about a 30-minute walk (two to three          Breakfast: Fried rice with vegetables or meat and fried
kilometers; one to one-and-half miles) from the research        egg, or fried pork and basil
site. we will either walk or ride there in a van.
                                                                Lunch: same as above, plus thai curry dishes, pad thai,
serVIces anD restaUrants In waLkInG
DIstance                                                        Dinner: same as above, plus fried and steamed fish, stir-
                                                                fried vegetables and meats, coconut soups, etc. we may
within the village of sob ruak, you’ll find many restaurants
                                                                sometimes also go out for group dinners at restaurants.
and food stalls that serve thai food, as well as a few shops
that may serve basic western food. there is a 24-hour           Snacks: convenience stores like the local 7-eleven sell
7-eleven in the village (approximately a 10- to 15-minute       snacks, condiments, and beverages, as well as bread
walk from the accommodations). In addition, because             and breakfast pastries. You can make trips to these stores
the field site is on the property of the anantara Golden        while on the expedition.
triangle resort and spa, you can visit the hotel’s two          Beverages: soda, water, coffee, and alcohol are all
restaurants, one which serves a mix of thai and common          available for purchase by volunteers at the local shops.
western dishes, and another which is an excellent Italian
restaurant. If you want to try these restaurants (at your       Water: tap water is not suitable for drinking. Bottled water
own expense), project staff can arrange this for you. see       will be provided at the research site and accommodations. for more
information on these restaurants.                               sPecIaL DIetarY reqUIreMents
                                                                Please alert earthwatch to any special dietary
FOOD                                                            requirements (e.g., vegetarian or vegan diets, diabetes,
You’ll share meals with research staff during the               lactose intolerance, nut or other serious food allergies) as
expedition. Usually, local thai restaurants or shops will       soon as possible, and note them in the space provided on
take our orders 24 hours in advance and then provide            your volunteer forms.
meals at our research office or your accommodations, but        Meals are prepared by local villagers, and any serious,
sometimes we’ll also eat together at nearby restaurants.        life-threatening allergies (especially to nuts or eggs) should
You won’t have to help prepare meals, but you will help         be discussed with project staff via earthwatch prior to
clean up afterward and keep our site clean.                     joining any team. In thailand, it is impossible to prevent
typical thai food consists of either rice-based dishes          cross-contamination during cooking. Vegetarians can be
with meat, seafood and/or vegetables, or noodle-based           accommodated, and dairy products can generally be
dishes, such as noodle soup with meat, seafood, and/            avoided when making thai food. Generally, vegans can be
or vegetables or pad-thai style meals. although thai            accommodated, although if you have severe limitations on
food is often spicy, we can ask for some of the dishes          what you can and cannot eat, you may want to reconsider
to be prepared without spice. If you have absolutely no         joining this expedition. It’s also possible to accommodate
tolerance to spice of any kind, please consult earthwatch       gluten-free diets, but it will severely limit the foods you can
staff before joining this expedition. You won’t find a great    eat.
availability of western food outside the big cities, although   It can be difficult to ensure that foods do not contain basic
the anantara hotel restaurants do serve some western            thai-style ingredients (e.g., soy sauce), so if your reaction
food; as mentioned above, staff members can arrange for         to such ingredients is severe, you should reconsider
you to eat at these restaurants at your own expense.            coming on this expedition. It will also be next to impossible
thai people do not often distinguish between breakfast,         to eliminate monosodium glutamate (MsG), sugar, or salt
lunch, and dinner in terms of the food prepared; in other       from your diet. Please contact earthwatch with questions
                                                                or concerns.

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                      13
     travel Planning
     rendezvous and Departure Information

      The rendezvous and departure information for this project has been removed from this web version of the expedition
      briefing. It is only available in the printed version of the briefing. Please do not make any travel arrangements to join
      an expedition without having full and up-to-date travel information from Earthwatch. Full rendezvous details, including
      places and times are available from Earthwatch upon request prior to registration for an expedition. Please use the
      “Contact Us” button on the top right-hand corner of the website to get in touch with an Earthwatch representative, who
      will be very happy to help you.

14                                                                                      Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
travel tips
suggestions for the road
LUGGaGe                                                           and markets have english menus and pricing.
Lost and delayed luggage: If your luggage goes astray,            Cultural considerations: Please spend some time reading
please contact Dr. Plotnik or his staff; they will help provide   about local customs and history before coming to
information on where it should be sent.                           thailand. some basic rules of thumb:
General considerations: Do not bring more luggage than             • remove your shoes before entering homes and
you can carry and handle on your own. If traveling by air            temples.
and checking your luggage, we advise you to pack an
                                                                   • a thai person’s head should never be touched by a
extra set of field clothing and personal essentials in your
carry-on bag in case your luggage is lost or delayed.
Many airlines have strict baggage policies. Please check           • Do not sit with your feet pointed at other people or use
with your airline(s) on baggage weight limits, liquid                your feet to point at objects.
restrictions, fees for checked baggage, etc.                       • Public displays of affection by couples are uncommon
Transferring luggage: If you will be taking an international         (except among the younger generation).
flight that has one or more connections within the country         • women should never touch a Buddhist monk.
of your destination, you must collect any checked bags
at the airport where you first arrive in the destination           • Please don’t wear low-cut or strapless tops or trousers
country. after proceeding through customs, you will have             or tops that reveal a bare midriff (although you’ll see
to recheck your luggage before flying on to your final               similar dress in Bangkok, it is not appropriate in more
destination.                                                         rural communities); we recommend wearing sleeved
                                                                     shirts or t-shirts on site. Local clothing is very cheap
MOneY Matters                                                        and readily available if you forget anything. In Bangkok,
                                                                     men wearing shorts or women with bare shoulders,
Local currency: thai baht. the average exchange rate                 short dresses, or shorts will not be admitted to the
is around Us$1 = 30 thai baht (see                    Grand Palace or temples; closed-toe shoes are also
for accurate, up-to-date rates). this is the only currency           required.
accepted in thailand, and you’ll find currency exchange
windows in all airports and most tourist hubs.                     • It is totally unacceptable to make any sort of critical
                                                                     or joking remark about the royal family. Political
Personal funds: atMs are readily available in the village            discussion between volunteers and villagers is strongly
of sob ruak near the volunteer accommodations, as                    discouraged, unless the volunteer is fluent in thai.
is a Bangkok Bank currency exchange window. we
recommend that you bring at least UsD200 (6,000 thai               • Displays of bad temper or anger are extremely
baht) to cover all snacks, trips to nearby museums or                unacceptable in thai society.
projects, etc. during your stay.                                  Time zone: Utc + 7. For time worldwide with GMt/Utc,
YOUr DestInatIOn                                                  Telephone dialing codes: when calling thailand from
Language: thai (or “central thai”) is the predominant             another country, dial the country’s international dialing
language in thailand, and most thais you encounter on             code, followed by 66 and the number. when calling within
this expedition will speak it. also, many people speak            thailand, omit the 66 and dial the number directly. when
northern thai dialects in sob ruak, while the dialects of         calling another country from thailand, dial 001, followed
surin Province (in northeastern thailand) are prevalent           by the other country’s country code and the number. Note:
in the elephant camp. Very few people in the local                You should check with your cell phone provider to obtain
village speak english, although local hotel staff speak or        any carrier-specific dialing codes you may need; many
understand it a little. earthwatch scientists and field team      providers have dialing procedures that may differ in whole
leaders are fluent in english (and some are fluent in thai),      or in part from these directions. For additional information,
and can assist if translation is necessary. Most restaurants      see

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                        15
                  PassPOrts anD VIsas

     will You need a Passport?                                     In Australia: ask your travel agency if it can send your
                                                                   visa application on your behalf.
     Most volunteers traveling from outside thailand will
     require a passport valid for at least six months beyond       Required information: You will need to send your
     the dates of travel.                                          passport (valid for at least six months beyond your
                                                                   stay), a visa application and immigration form, two to
     will You need a Visa?                                         four passport-size photos, and payment to the embassy
     citizens of the U.s., eU, australia, canada, and Japan        or visa agency (if applicable). Please be sure that your
     DO NOT need tourist visas for entry. citizens of other        passport is valid for at least six months beyond your stay.
     countries should check with their travel agent or a visa      Contact information: You may be required to list the
     agency for specific visa and entry requirements.              following contact information on your visa application
     citizens of most countries are allowed to enter thailand      and immigration form:
     on the visa-exempt program for 30 days if entering from       Baan thai resort
     an international airport and 15 days if entering overland
     from a neighboring country, and thus do not need to           525 Moo 1 chiang saen, chiang rai 57150, thailand
     obtain any visa prior to entry into thailand, as long as      tel: 66 (0)53652152
     they do not plan to stay longer than the allowed duration
                                                                   Cost of a visa: Generally between Us$40 and $100,
     (the complete list of exempt countries can be found at
                                                                   but varies from country to country and can cost up to
                                                                   Us$180. a visa agency will charge an additional fee.
     Information for Volunteers requiring Visas OnLY               Volunteers Under 18 Years of age
     Type of visa to get: tOUrIst
                                                                   In an effort to prevent international child abduction,
     the purpose of your visit is for vacation, holiday or         many governments have procedures at entry and
     travel. Immigration officials do not always understand        exit points to protect minors. thus, if a minor will be
     the concept of a “working vacation” or “volunteering.”        traveling with only one guardian or alone, he or she
     words such as “working,” “volunteering,” “research,” or       may need a notarized letter from all legal guardians
     “scientific expedition” can raise questions concerning        stating that the minor may travel unaccompanied or in
     the country’s foreign labor laws and about official           the presence of a single guardian. If necessary, this
     scientific research permits and credentials, etc., to which   letter must give an explanation for why only one parent
     volunteers will not be equipped to respond on their own.      or someone other than a parent is signing the letter. For
     all required research permits for the project are in place    example, if one parent is deceased, only one parent
     and have been approved by the proper authorities.             has legal guardianship, or someone other than the
     Where to get a visa: contact the nearest thai embassy         parents are legal guardians, the letter should state that.
     or consulate to find out how to apply. Please note            airlines may also have documentation requirements
     that this process can take weeks or even months. we           for unaccompanied minors, e.g. a birth certificate or a
     strongly recommend using a visa agency, which can             notarized letter like the one described above.
     both expedite and simplify the process.                       Important: requirements of specific countries and
     Suggested Agencies                                            airlines vary and change frequently. You must keep
                                                                   informed of the requirements on your own to avoid
     In the U.S.: travisa; 212-613-2223;           problems at immigration. If the minor is refused
     In Europe: cIBt, Inc. (U.k.);;           entry into a country or onto a flight because of lack of                                               documentation, there is nothing earthwatch can do
                                                                   to help.

16                                                                                       Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
Project conditions
the Field environment
                                                               eLIGIBILItY reqUIreMents
  Please show this section to a doctor when he/she
  is completing the health section of your earthwatch          all participants must independently be able to:
  Participation Form. Be sure to discuss vaccination               Follow verbal and visual instructions the first time they
  requirements with the doctor well in advance of your             are given.
  departure date. see the health Information section               Feel comfortable working close to elephants. You
  (pg. 20) for vaccination information.                            will always be accompanied by researchers and an
  To the doctor:                                                   elephant caretaker, and will only come close to the
                                                                   elephants when directly supervised.
  this patient has volunteered to join a field research            enjoy being outdoors all day in all types of weather,
  team that has specific physical demands of which                 potentially in the presence of wild animals and insects.
  you and the patient should be aware. we need your
  accurate evaluation of this patient’s ability to meet the        have patience (e.g., when waiting for elephants to
  conditions detailed below in order to care for his or her        arrive and experiments to proceed), stamina, and the
  health and safety, and to assess that he or she can              ability to be flexible based on elephant behavior and
  participate fully and effectively.                               research needs. tasks may be delayed, changed, or
                                                                   need to take place without prior warning.
                                                                   react quickly to unpredictable conditions, including
GeneraL cOnDItIOns                                                 fast-moving elephants and fast-paced experiments.
the information that follows is as accurate as possible, but       Delays during experiments due to lethargy or an
please keep in mind that conditions may change.                    inability to perform research tasks can severely affect
thailand’s weather is typically dry and hot (the dry               the research outcome.
season, november through March), or wet and humid (the             Operate basic electronic equipment, e.g., laptops and
monsoon season, april through October). During the dry             time-keeping equipment).
season, the daily temperature can range from 15 to 40°c
                                                                   keep steady hands during research activities.
(59 to 104°F) with almost no rain, and in the wet season,
from 20-40°c (68 to 104°F) with periods of rain every day.         tolerate hot and humid conditions and work outside
the area is quite hilly, and verdant in the wet season. In         with no air-conditioning while conducting research.
the wet season, the terrain can be rough, but we easily            traverse from one to three kilometers (0.6 to 1.9 miles)
navigate the environment on foot in either flip-flops or           on a daily basis over flat or uneven ground between
hiking boots. Most trekking at the field site is easily done       elephant camps, with some additional walking over
on foot, although transport will be available if needed.           rough and slightly hilly ground during research.
                                                                   remain still in one place for two to three hours a day
           cOnDItIOns                                              while observing elephants, potentially without a seat
                                                                   and without substantial shelter.
 the weather is expected to vary within the limits below.
                                                                   Get low to the ground to work with experimental tools
 Rainfall (average per month):                                     10 to 20 times per day.
     Dry season team (nov.): 18 mm (0.7 in)                        carry a small daypack with personal daily supplies,
     wet season teams (apr.-Oct.): 230 mm (9 in)                   e.g., water, snacks, camera, etc.
 Humidity: 86 to 89%                                               Get oneself up into and down out of a vehicle and
                                                                   ride, seated with seatbelt fastened (when available),
                                                                   for about one hour on rendezvous and departure
                                                                   days, and often for short distances between facilities.

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                     17
       POtentIaL haZarDs

     Hazard Type         Associated Risks and Precautions
                         we hire careful drivers to transport volunteers. Participants may not drive, and must take caution when crossing
                         roads on foot (in thailand, people drive on the left-hand side of the road). Drivers will transport you to the field site
     transportation      in minivans with seats available for each person. wear a seatbelt when one is available and remain seated when
                         the vehicle is in motion. night driving will only occur over short distances within the local area. Longer drives after
                         dark will occur in an emergency.
                         Fire is an inherent risk. the accommodations have no smoke or heat detectors. You’ll be briefed on fire escapes
                         and gathering points when you arrive. all accommodations are non-smoking.

     walking/hiking/     the terrain can be unstable and hilly. wear sturdy walking shoes during the research day and watch where you
     climbing            step to avoid trips and slips.
                         working with any wild animal has inherent risks, which increase when the animal is as large as an elephant. You
     elephants           must follow research staff and elephant caretaker instructions at all times. You will have the opportunity to come
                         into close contact with the elephants, but only when under the direct supervision of staff members.
                         some mosquito-borne illnesses are relatively common in thailand (e.g., dengue fever), so take precautions to
                         avoid being bitten (e.g., wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evenings). we advise that you seek medical
                         advice from a travel clinic before the expedition.
     Other animals/
     Plants              During the rainy season in particular, poisonous snakes are common. we will brief you on how to avoid snakes
                         and what to do if one is spotted. thailand also has many large spiders and insects, but these are harmless. If you
                         fear insects, spiders, or snakes—either in the field or possibly inside your room—this is not the project for you.
                         You may also encounter stray dogs in the local village; avoid approaching them and ignore their presence.
                         You’ll work in the sun for long periods of time. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and wear sunscreen,
                         appropriate clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat and/or scarf. Do not overwork yourself when jetlagged or tired. If
     climate/weather     the weather is tiring you, tell a staff member immediately. You can rest or change tasks.
                         Because of the high humidity, people who use hearing aids may find they don’t work properly. consider
                         purchasing a hearing aid dehumidifier.
                         the opportunity for swimming is unlikely, but if an opportunity does arise, do not swim alone or after consuming
     In/near water
                         alcohol. always get consent from a staff member if you plan to swim.

     Political/social/   Do not engage in debates on politics in thailand (outside of general everyday conversation). the royal family is
     cultural            held in high regard, and their reputation is legally protected. comments and discussion are best avoided.
                         You may need to climb stairs and ladders. Don’t climb unsupervised, and always have someone ensure
                         the stability of what you’re climbing. You will also help construct apparatus for experiments and manage the
     Project tasks/
                         elephants during their daily routine and experiments. You’ll receive training and protective equipment or clothing
                         where necessary. Follow the instructions of staff at all times to avoid injury, and ensure that you use all tools
                         those with severe food allergies should carefully consider joining this project; although we can request food made
                         without nuts, eggs, dairy, and spice, we can’t ensure that contact with allergens can be completely avoided.
                         Please contact earthwatch before joining the project with any questions. those allergic to insect stings should
                         carry necessary medication with them and tell earthwatch and staff in the field about the allergy.
                         Pro- and anti-government groups have demonstrated in thailand in the past few years, generally centering in
                         Bangkok, sometimes violently. terrorism is also a threat, and several bomb attacks have occurred in the past few
                         years. these tend to be centered again in major cities and are highly unlikely to impact the project site. avoid
                         protests, demonstrations, and other large public gatherings; do not stop to photograph them.
     Personal security
                         It is sensible not to develop any sort of romantic relationships with local people, which could create problems.
                         In and around Bangkok, the usual rules for urban areas apply. Be aware of your surroundings and belongings,
                         especially in well-known tourist areas. take the advice of other travelers, local authorities, and/or hotel staff on
                         places to avoid. Do not flaunt money or valuables.
                         a local hospital is a 15-minute drive from the field site, but it is not prepared for serious emergencies. the closest
     Distance from       fully equipped hospital is more than an hour’s drive away. If you have a chronic condition that could require
     Medical care        immediate medical care (e.g., heart condition, kidney problems, severe asthma, etc.), or if you are pregnant,
                         please discuss your participation on this expedition with your physician.

18                                                                                                    Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
health Information                                               • Rabies: Vaccinations are generally recommended for
                                                                   this expedition given the potential contact with loose
                                                                   and stray dogs. the rabies pre-exposure vaccination
rOUtIne IMMUnIZatIOns                                              consists of three doses over a 28-day period. Please
All volunteers should have the following up-to-date                be sure to consult your physician or travel health
immunizations: DPt (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus), polio,        clinic well before your expedition to ensure that you
MMr (measles, mumps, rubella), and varicella (if you have          have time for the full vaccination series. If you have
not already had chicken pox). Please be sure your tetanus          previously been vaccinated, a booster shot may be
shot is current.                                                   required.
Medical decisions are the responsibility of each                   whether you have been vaccinated or not, always
volunteer and his or her doctor, and the following are             avoid loose and stray dogs. the pre-exposure
recommendations only. earthwatch can only provide                  vaccination does not eliminate the need for post-
details regarding suggested vaccinations, and we are not           exposure medical attention and treatment, but it does
a medical organization.                                            provide additional protection against the disease in
                                                                   event of a delay in treatment. In addition, bites or
                                                                   scratches should be immediately and thoroughly
       PrOJect VaccInatIOns                                        washed with soap, clean water, and a topical
                                                                   povidone-iodine solution or ethanol.
 REQUIRED: If traveling from countries or region where           • Tuberculosis: Volunteers returning from developing
 yellow fever is endemic, you must have a certificate of           countries may wish to have a (PPD)-tuberculin skin-test
 vaccination.                                                      to screen for potential infection.
 hepatitis A and B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies
                                                                eMerGencIes In the FIeLD
                                                                camp staff will treat minor injuries on site. In the case of
                                                                major injuries that need hospital attention, participants
aDVIce reGarDInG DIseases                                       will be transported by van or pick-up truck (a vehicle
traveler’s diarrhea affects many international travelers.       for transport is available 24 hours a day) to the chiang
Other diseases found in southeast asia may include              saen hospital (a 10-minute drive from the field site). the
malaria, dengue fever, filariasis, chikunguya, Japanese         hospital can treat relatively minor or moderate injuries, but
encephalitis, and plague (all carried by insects);              any major or life-threatening injuries will require transport
avian influenza (carried by birds); schistosomiasis             to Overbrook or kasemrad sriburin General, two fully
and leptospirosis (in fresh water); and measles and             equipped hospitals in chiang rai city (approximately a
polio. Please see the U.s. centers for Disease control          1.5-hour drive from the field site). If more substantial tests
and Prevention ( or the world health                are needed (e.g., an MrI), the volunteers may need to
Organization ( websites for more information       be transported to chiang Mai ram hospital in chiang
on these conditions and how to avoid them.                      Mai (a four-hour drive from the field site). all of this can
You can decrease your risk of most diseases above by            be arranged via camp staff, in consultation with the
avoiding mosquito bites, practicing good hygiene, and           earthwatch emergency response Plan.
drinking only bottled or filtered water when appropriate.       If you must leave the expedition early for a personal
If you feel ill once you return from your trip, make sure you   emergency, project staff can provide transport to chiang
inform your doctor that you have recently returned from a       rai airport or bus station at an additional cost to you. You
tropical region.                                                also must sign an early departure release form.
a few notes on vaccinations and treatment:                      Physician, nurse, or EMT on staff: Project staff members
                                                                are not medical professionals.
 • Malaria: Malaria is rare at the research site. however,
   it is present in some areas in thailand and you should       Staff certified in safety training:
   seek advice from your doctor regarding anti-malarial         CPR: J. Plotnik, c. keratimanochaya, L. tiller, D. Brubaker

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                       19
     First Aid: J. Plotnik, c. keratimanochaya, L. tiller, D.      Because of different governing laws in each country,
     Brubaker                                                      policies are specific to each regional earthwatch office.
     Nearest hospital and clinic:                                  Please check with your sign up office about your
                                                                   insurance coverage.
     chiang saen hospital
                                                                   If you signed up through earthwatch U.k. or earthwatch
     chiang saen, chiang rai                                       Japan, visit
     +66 53 777 017 (they only speak thai)                         If you signed up through earthwatch U.s., visit www.
     10- to 15-minute drive                              
                                                                   If you signed up in the U.k., U.s., or Japan: If you
     InsUrance                                                     have additional vacation time before and/or after your
     Insurance and emergency medical assistance are                earthwatch expedition that forms part of your overall time
     included in the contribution you pay to earthwatch. the       away from your place of residence, this additional vacation
     insurance covers your travel medical risks, including         time is not covered under this policy.
     medical expenses and emergency medical evacuation,            If you signed up through earthwatch australia, visit www.
     while you are traveling. It also provides trip cancelation or contact
     insurance and baggage and personal money insurance. It        earthwatch australia.
     doesn’t provide personal liability insurance. this coverage
     is valid in the country of your earthwatch expedition         Please refer any queries regarding earthwatch’s policy to
     and during travel to and from your expedition. (Note:         earthwatch’s Operations Department at +1-978 450-1222
     For U.s. volunteers, the coverage is valid only when the      or
     expedition is over 100 miles from your place of residence.
     For australian volunteers, the coverage is limited if the
     expedition is less than 50 kilometers from your place of
     this insurance policy is secondary to your existing health
     insurance policy (e.g., nhs in the U.k., Medicare in

20                                                                                     Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
Project staff
Your resources in the Field
                        Earthwatch scientist Dr. Joshua Plotnik, who specializes in animal behavior and psychology,
                        was recently a newton Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of experimental Psychology at the
                        University of cambridge in the U.k. In addition to elephants, his research interests have included
                        corvid (crow family) sensory perception and cooperation, and chimpanzee social behavior,
                        cognition, and face recognition. Joshua is currently the head of elephant research at GtaeF,and
                        the founder of think elephants International.

                        John Roberts is the director of elephants at GtaeF. he has pursued his interest in conservation in
                        west texas, northern australia, and nepal. currently, John coordinates the activities of GtaeF, is
                        a trustee of the International trust for nature conservation, and has contributed articles to several
                        publications, including Bird conservation nepal.

                        Dr. Cherry Keratimanochaya is one of a small group of trained elephant veterinarians in thailand.
                        she works as GtaeF’s full-time veterinarian, and also spends time training and working at the thai
                        elephant conservation center’s main government elephant hospital in Lampang. she has attended
                        many conferences and workshops (including international conferences on elephant health and
                        wildlife management), and worked on elephant health training programs for foreign vets and

                        Lydia Tiller, one of the project’s research assistants and field team leaders, has studied biology
                        and zoology in many settings: she has worked with caspian terns and double-crested cormorants
                        in the U.s., sea turtles in Greece, clouded leopards in thailand, and fruit bats in australia. she
                        is particularly interested in elephants. she worked in an elephant sanctuary in thailand and
                        conducted her master’s research on human–elephant conflict in Bardia national Park in nepal.

                       Dan Brubaker, also a research assistant and a field team leader, is primarily interested in animal
                       intelligence and communication, and has worked with rhesus monkeys, brown capuchins, and
                       chimpanzees. his recent involvement with think elephants International marks his first venture into
                       cognitive research with a non-primate species. he is excited to be involved with such research,
                       especially in its promotion of methodological advances in elephant conservation.

                        Elsa Loissel also works for the project as a research assistant and field team leader. she has
                        studied in France and england, working on morality and social and physical cognition in children,
                        adults, and birds. she joined the think elephants International team in august 2012, which has
                        allowed her to pursue her childhood dream of doing research in the field. this is her first venture
                        into conservation work.

                        *Please Note: at least three staff members will be actively involved in all teams; however, each
                        individual staff member’s schedule cannot be fully determined at this time. also, it’s likely that the
                        different field team leaders will join the september and October expeditions.

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                       21
     recommended reading
     Your resources at home

     On the weB
     aBc news video:
     aBc news, “research shows elephants recognize
     Discovery news, “elephants Outwit humans During
     Intelligence test”:
     new York times editorial, “horton sees an Image”: www.

     PrOJect-reLateD weBsItes

     earthwatch’s VOLUnteer resOUrces
     Please see earthwatch’s Volunteer resources pages for
     additional information on:
      • travel agencies with whom earthwatch volunteers
        can get preferential rates
      • recommended kit and clothing providers
      • recommended travel booksellers                            Connect wit
                                                                               h other
     Volunteers who sign up through our U.s. office, visit:        Earthwatch                                    ers on
                                                                  Facebook a
     Volunteers who sign up through our U.k. office, visit:                   t www.
                                                                    facebook.c                              om/
     Social media: Find earthwatch on Facebook at www.                Earthwatch, follow us on twitter @
                                                                                                   us on
     earthwatch_org, and see videos of many earthwatch
     expeditions on Youtube at
                                                                                          or find er
     earthwatchinstitute. If you’re on twitter, use the hashtag
                                                                                               Twitt    _org
     “#globaltweet” when in the field with earthwatch to
     help literally put your work on the map of worldwide
     volunteering efforts. we also invite you to use the
     Facebook and turnto plug-in features right on our
     website’s expedition pages to connect with other
     volunteers and staff.

22                                                                               Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
Participant rights and
                                                                 have the right to place additional restrictions on your ability
                                                                 to share data or certain research-related images.
                                                                 conversely, an earthwatch scientist may give written
                                                                 permission to use data and images for academic
                                                                 or profitable activity. Please be sure to ask what is
                                                                 acceptable to the earthwatch scientist.
                                                                 Fellows or scholarship recipients are sometimes required
                                                                 to submit a written report reflecting what they have learned
                                                                 on a project, sometimes as a step toward developing a
                                                                 curriculum. earthwatch scientists have the right but not the
                                                                 obligation to review and edit materials involving information
                                                                 gathered on one of their expeditions.

                                                                 earthwatch does not discriminate on the basis of
                                                                 race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual
                                                                 orientation, or any other reason prohibited by applicable
this document contains important information concerning          law and respects participants’ right to privacy. however,
earthwatch Institute policies and participant rights and         you must be aware that local laws in countries in which
responsibilities for inclusion in an earthwatch expedition.      earthwatch operates may not be antidiscriminatory
Please read this document thoroughly and sign the                and that the possibility exists that local residents may
Liability release section of your earthwatch Participation       not have an awareness of preferred practice regarding
Form to indicate that you understand and accept the              discrimination.
risks inherent to your expedition and the policies, rights,      Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity,
and responsibilities enumerated in this document. You            national origin, gender, or sexual orientation will not be
will not be permitted to participate in an expedition until      tolerated on earthwatch teams. Disruptive behavior or
earthwatch has received the signed release form.                 verbal, physical, or any other type of abuse or harassment
                                                                 will also not be tolerated. Violation of earthwatch’s
InteLLectUaL PrOPertY rIGhts                                     nondiscrimination policy is grounds for expulsion from the
IIt is permissible to share photos, videos, and stories          program without a refund.
of your expedition with family, friends, local media, and
in a public forum. sharing your new perspectives and             IntIMate reLatIOnshIPs
experiences is welcomed and encouraged.                          earthwatch scientists, their staff, their colleagues, and
however, please recognize that all information, data,            their associates are prohibited from becoming romantically
and images shared or gathered in the course of your              involved with participants during the entire duration of the
expedition’s field work become the intellectual property of      period that the team is in the field. romantic relationships
the earthwatch scientist. co-opting or plagiarism of data,       that may otherwise seem permissible may eventually
images, or information gathered during an expedition for         create an unpleasant or unproductive work environment
use in a scientific thesis, master’s, or PhD work, or for        and are therefore prohibited for the duration of an
profit or for the academic or business use of a third party      earthwatch project.
without the permission of the earthwatch scientist is strictly
prohibited. Please be aware that data gathered during            sexUaL harassMent
the interviewing of local people become the intellectual         Please recognize that the relationship that exists between
property of the earthwatch scientist. earthwatch scientists      earthwatch scientists and staff and participants is

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                         23
     analogous to the student-teacher relationship. therefore,       purchase of alcohol are applicable to all participants
     please be aware of the following policies.                      and project staff on earthwatch expeditions. Participants
     sexual harassment of participants by the earthwatch             and project staff on earthwatch expeditions must comply
     scientist or earthwatch staff is prohibited. Likewise, sexual   with the law of the country in which a project is located
     harassment of other participants, earthwatch field staff, or    regarding the minimum age required to consume alcohol.
     local people by participants is also prohibited.                In addition, restriction on the use, possession, sale,
                                                                     or purchase of alcohol may be set by the earthwatch
     sexual harassment infringes on an individual’s right to an      scientist. any restrictions on the consumption of alcohol
     environment free from unsolicited and unwelcome sexual          should be clearly outlined by the project staff in the on-site
     overtones of conduct either verbal or physical. sexual          briefing to participants at the start of the project and in the
     harassment does not mean occasional compliments of a            expedition briefing.
     socially acceptable nature.
                                                                     consumption or possession of alcohol or smoking is not
     sexual harassment refers to conduct which is offensive,         permitted on any earthwatch teen team, regardless of
     which harms morale, or which interferes with the                local law.
     effectiveness of earthwatch expedition teams; such
     conduct is prohibited. Lewd or vulgar remarks, suggestive       excessive consumption of alcohol by staff or participants
     comments, displaying derogatory posters, cartoons,              is not acceptable on any earthwatch project. Intoxication
     or drawings, pressure for dates or sexual favors, and           can jeopardize personal safety, in addition to the safety of
     unacceptable physical contact or exposure are examples          the team. It can also cause delay and hinder response in
     of what can constitute harassment. no one should be             the event of a crisis or emergency situation.
     touched in areas that would be covered by a bathing suit.       earthwatch staff and the earthwatch scientist have the
     It is important to realize that what may not be offensive to    discretion to remove individuals from the project who
     you may be offensive to participants, the local population,     consume alcohol in a time and manner that endanger the
     or earthwatch field staff.                                      safety and/or productivity of the expedition.
     any individual who feels subjected to sexual harassment
     or has any knowledge of such behavior should report it          MInOrs
     at once to the earthwatch scientist, Field team Leader, or      earthwatch considers participants less than eighteen (18)
     other earthwatch staff member. the earthwatch scientist         years of age to be minors. Minors are not permitted to
     or Field team Leader will notify earthwatch when an             participate on any of earthwatch’s standard teams unless
     accusation of sexual harassment or abuse is made or             accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, in which case
     when such conduct is witnessed.                                 the minimum age is fifteen (15). Guardians accompanying
                                                                     minors on standard teams must be 21 years of age or
     all reports of sexual harassment will be handled
                                                                     over. Minors on standard teams do not receive additional
     with discretion and will be promptly and thoroughly
                                                                     guidance or supervision from earthwatch beyond what
     investigated. any participant who is found to have engaged
                                                                     is offered to the adult participants. the total number of
     in conduct constituting sexual harassment will be removed
                                                                     minors on standard teams may be limited on a project by
     from the expedition at his or her own expense. If a minor
                                                                     project basis; this will be noted in the expedition briefing.
     is involved in allegations of sexual harassment, his or her
                                                                     a maximum of two minors may accompany each parent or
     parents or guardians will be contacted.                         guardian on a standard or Family team. earthwatch has
                                                                     developed teams specifically for 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds
     DrUGs                                                           (“teen teams”) as well as teams specifically for families
     Laws on drug use in most countries are severe and may           (“Family teams”) with children as young as 10 years.
     impose lengthy prison terms or the death penalty. the           these teams focus on the same research activities and
     manufacture, possession, use, purchase, or sale of illegal      have the same expectations as our regular teams, but
     drugs or other illegal substances while on an earthwatch        with more facilitation and support. exceptions for some
     expedition is strictly prohibited. Prescription drugs may       projects may be made at the discretion of earthwatch and
     only be purchased and used by the individual indicated          the earthwatch scientist. Due to a more in-depth screening
     on the prescription in keeping with their intended use          process for certain programs that select candidates based
     guidelines.                                                     on school year rather than age, there may be 18-year-olds
                                                                     fielding on the same team as 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds.
     aLcOhOL                                                         Please be aware that some earthwatch projects do not
     Local statutes, customs, practices, ordinances, and             allow participation by minors in any circumstance.
     regulations with regard to the use, possession, sale, or

24                                                                                        Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
PartIcIPants anD DrIVInG                                        the earthwatch scientist, Field team Leader, or other
Participants are not allowed to drive project vehicles          earthwatch staff member in his or her absolute discretion
(including motorcycles or all terrain vehicles) or aircraft     considers it appropriate. In this event, the participant
during an expedition. In select circumstances, participants     (and his or her parents or guardians, if appropriate)
may be able to drive boats under the direct supervision by      will be responsible for arranging and paying for any
project staff. these circumstances are predetermined by         accommodation, travel, or other arrangements which may
project staff in collaboration with earthwatch. Participants    be necessary following the termination of a participant’s
must respect the restrictions for boat driving in place for     involvement in a project, for whatever reason, and will not
each project.                                                   be eligible for a refund.

If a project environment is such that participants can drive    earthwatch may not refuse an applicant’s participation
their own vehicles to the rendezvous, those who have            in a project for discriminatory reasons (race, religion,
driven themselves to the project may not drive their own        ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or
vehicles to, from, or for project activities, including the     any other reason prohibited by applicable law). however,
transport of project equipment after arriving at the site.      an application may be denied in the interest of team
                                                                compatibility or due to logistical limitations. earthwatch
Participants who have driven themselves to the project          will make reasonable efforts to accommodate participants
may choose to utilize their own vehicles during recreational    with disabilities, and the organization endeavors to
time, but project staff will brief them on any driving          find appropriate expeditions for those participants who
restrictions. all driving during recreational time is done at   have physical limitations. refusal of an applicant is an
your own risk.                                                  unusual event and is generally done either because
Please be advised that the only exception to the above          of an applicant’s failure to meet the essential eligibility
driving restrictions is emergency situations.                   requirements of a particular project or in the interest of
                                                                team compatibility. In the event that an applicant is refused
riding in other participants’ vehicles is not covered under
                                                                participation for health reasons, earthwatch will refund in
the participants’ insurance policy for the expedition. riding
                                                                full any deposit or payment made toward the expedition.
in another participant’s vehicle is done at a participant’s
own risk.                                                       earthwatch scientists have the right to refuse special
                                                                requests, such as visits by media (film, photography, or
In the eVent OF an eMerGencY                                    print), special groups, or teams (students, donors, etc.), if
In the event of emergencies, judgments must be made by          they conflict with earthwatch scientist schedules, safety,
earthwatch field staff and participants. while earthwatch       research objectives, or general performance of the team.
makes an effort to ensure that qualified people make the        any participant found in violation of any of the policies
most informed decisions possible, occasionally first aid        described in this document (“Participant rights and
may be administered and other immediate steps taken             responsibilities”) is subject to removal from the team at
by expedition participants who are not licensed medical         his or her own expense. By signing the Liability release
providers.                                                      section of your earthwatch Participation Form, you are
each earthwatch expedition has safety protocols and             indicating that you have read and understand the policies
emergency procedures in place. earthwatch encourages            in this document. removal of a participant from a team is
team members (the field staff and participants) to exercise     at the discretion of the earthwatch scientist, Field team
their best judgment with regard to their own safety and         Leader, or other earthwatch staff. In addition, earthwatch
the safety of other team members. Other participants            will support the right of the earthwatch scientist, Field
may perform “Good samaritan” actions, or actions taken          team Leader, or other earthwatch staff to send a
to assist fellow participants during emergency situations       participant away from a project once in the field should
in the field. however, earthwatch does not encourage            his or her behavior compromise the safety, research
or expect you to jeopardize your own safety or that of          objectives, or general performance of the team, or if the
others in attempting to rescue or assist your fellow team       participant has violated a stated policy. In the event that a
members.                                                        minor is dismissed from a project, earthwatch will contact
                                                                the participant’s parents or guardians prior to his or her
rIGht OF reFUsaL                                                dismissal. should a participant be removed from a team,
                                                                he or she is responsible for any and all costs associated
earthwatch reserves the right to refuse an applicant’s          with departure from the team and will receive neither
participation in an earthwatch project at any time and          refund of the minimum contribution for the expedition nor
to terminate any work being done by a participant               any expenses incurred by participation on the expedition.
and require the participant to vacate the project site if
                                                                (november 2012)

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                      25
     GtaeF Form
     Note: You do not need to sign this release before your expedition—you will be asked to sign it at the site when you arrive.
     we have included it here so that you have time to read it beforehand.

                    Golden triangle asian elephant Foundation
                                   thaI reGIstereD FOUnDatIOn: kOr. tOr. 1514

                                          earthwatch research actIVItIes
       By signing below I recognise that there are certain dangers inherent to interacting with any large mammals and that
       despite the best care taken by the staff of anantara Golden triangle, the Golden triangle asian elephant Foundation
       and agents thereof there is a possibility of personal injury.
       I guarantee that I am physically fit enough to undertake the above activity and have no on-going illness or injury that
       may be aggravated by such activity.
       I agree to absolve from any blame anantara Golden triangle, Golden triangle asian elephant Foundation,
       employees or agents thereof for any injury caused whilst undertaking activity on the grounds of the resort or
       organised by the resort.

       signature                                                                          Date

       Print name

                                       229 Moo 1 chiang saen, chiang rai 57150, thailand
                                            tel: 66 (0)5378 4084 Fax: 66 (0) 5378 4090

26                                                                                       Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
contact Information

eMerGencY cOMMUnIcatIOns                                       you intend to use their own networks and incur roaming
each staff member has at least one mobile phone and            charges—phones will not work on thai networks or with
one Internet-ready laptop computer. If the team splits up to   thai sIM cards.
work in different locations, mobile phones will be used for    Personal communication with outsiders is not always
communication.                                                 possible while participating in an expedition. earthwatch
If you need help at any time, you can also call                encourages volunteers to minimize outgoing calls and
earthwatch’s 24-hour on-call duty officer in the U.k. at +44   immerse themselves in the experience; likewise, family
(0) 7900-895-752 or in the U.s. at +1 (978) 461-0081           and friends should restrict calls to urgent messages only.

PersOnaL cOMMUnIcatIOns
                                                                      VOLUnteer cOntact InFO
Participants and staff can be reached in the field via
mobile phone at most, but not all, times, as mobile phone
service is relatively good at the field site and at the
accommodations. You may not use a mobile phone while
working, except in cases of emergency. the local village            This information is available in the print
has an Internet café that you can visit in the evenings             version of the briefing only. Contact
or during break times. You can bring your own mobile                your Earthwatch office for assistance.
phones, or purchase one cheaply in the village. sIM cards
can also be purchased cheaply at the nearby 7-eleven.
Many mobile phones are locked on a particular network,
and unless unlocked prior to arrival in thailand—or if

Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013                                                                                  27
     Message from earthwatch
     Dear earthwatcher,
     thank you for joining this expedition! we greatly appreciate your decision to contribute to hands-on environmental
     science and conservation.
     as an earthwatch volunteer, you have the opportunity to create positive change. and while you’re out in the field working
     toward that change, we are committed to caring for your safety. although risk is an inherent part of the environments in
     which we work, we’ve been providing volunteer field experiences with careful risk management and diligent planning for
     over 40 years. You’re in good hands.
     we hope this expedition will inspire you to get more involved in conservation and sustainable development priorities—not
     just out in the field, but also when you return home. we encourage you to share your experiences with others, and to
     transfer your skills and enthusiasm to environmental conservation efforts in your workplace, community, and home.
     If you have questions as you prepare for your expedition, contact your earthwatch office. thank you for your support, and
     enjoy your expedition!

     Larry Mason
     President and ceO

        earthwatch’s 24-hour helpline                              Medical and security
        If you need help at any time, call earthwatch’s 24-hour
        on-call duty officer in the U.k.:
                                                                   assistance helpline numbers
                                                                   (For assistance while in the field)
        +44 (0) 7900-895-752
                                                                   when calling any of the helplines, please
        If you reach voicemail, state that you have an             mention earthwatch and policy reference number
        emergency communication and leave a clear message          560020011200.
        with the name of the field program, your name, the
        location from which you are calling, and, if possible,     ceGa emergency Medical & travel assistance:
        a phone number where you can be reached. an                +44 (0)20 3059 8770
        earthwatch staff person will respond to your call within
                                                                   You may call this number collect or reverse charges if
        one hour.
                                                                   necessary in a medical emergency.
        You may also call earthwatch in the U.s.:
                                                                   henderson risk security assistance and advice:
        +1 (978) 461-0081
                                                                   +44 (0)20 3059 8772
        after business hours, leave your message with our live
        answering service who will contact an earthwatch staff
        person who will respond to your call.

28                                                                                       Thinking Like an Elephant in Thailand 2013
earthwatch U.s.             earthwatch U.k.            earthwatch australia      earthwatch Japan
114 western ave.            Mayfield house             126 Bank st.              sanbancho tY Plaza 5F
Boston, Ma 02134            256 Banbury rd.            south Melbourne,          sanbancho 24-25, chiyoda-ku
                            Oxford, Ox2 7De            VIc 3205                  tokyo 102-0075         United kingdom             australia                 Japan
Phone: 1-978-450-1246
toll-Free: 1-800-776-0188                              australia
Fax: 1-978-461-2332         Phone: 44-0-1865-318-838                             Phone: 81-0-3-3511-3360
                            Fax: 44-0-1865-311-383     Phone: 61-0-3-9016-7590   Fax: 81-0-3-3511-3364
                                                       Fax: 61-0-3-9686-3652

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