The Museum of Natural History (MNH) welcomed ten students from Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) with warm smiles on 13 June 2017. officially marking the first day of TAMIU’s Study Abroad Program in the Philippines which will last until 8 July 2017.

The batch was led by two associate professors, Dr. Marcus Antonius Ynalvez and Dr. Ruby Ynalvez, who will be discussing Social Issues in the Tropics and Exploring Biology in the Tropics respectively in collaboration with the Museum. Six of the students, mostly juniors, are Biology majors participating in the study program as an advanced elective while the remaining are joining out of interest and enthusiasm.

The day commenced with a Museum tour and a lively orientation led by MNH Director, Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez, who jump-started the day with buko pies and citrus beverages for the guests.

University Extension Specialist Florante Cruz, University Researcher Michelle Alejado and Assistant Professor and Curator Annalee Hadsall added to the friendly atmosphere as they shared their stories and insights about UPLB. Two MNH interns from the UPLB BA Communication Arts program and a volunteer currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Forestry gave a hand to the students throughout their exploration.

The TAMIU students will embark on three more fieldworks with the MNH. The second fieldwork will be conducted in Puerto Galera, Mindoro where they will be introduced to marine ecology. The next destination would be in Pangasinan and Pampanga where they will learn on cave ecology and island biodiversity. Their last learning experience with MNH will be at Mount Makiling Tropical Rainforest to study terrestrial vertebrates and arthropods.

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