I am Dr Alan Poling, WMU Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Researcher for APOPO where we train giant rats to sniff out landmines and Tuberculosis.
I first came to Tanzania in 2009 to work with colleagues from APOPO and elsewhere on a project funded by the Geneva International Commission on Humanitarian Demining. I’ve returned regularly since that time and my graduate students as well as my family have also lived in Tanzania and contributed to APOPO.
I am currently a Senior Behavioral Researcher at APOPO and try to benefit the organization by assisting my colleagues in ascertaining how well the rats are performing in their current operational capacities, in developing strategies for improving their performance in those capacities, in identifying novel humanitarian applications for the rats, in securing funds to support research and operational activities, and in publishing scientific articles describing various aspects of our scent-detection work.
I am a Professor of Psychology at Western Michigan University with expertise in behavior analysis, a discipline concerned with identifying relations between environmental inputs and behavioral outputs and the variables that affect those relations. I have substantial research and writing experience, having published 12 books and roughly 350 articles and book chapters.
Go ahead, ask me anything! And we've started! Hello Reddit!
To date, APOPO and the HeroRATs have located and destroyed 48,846 landmines and UXO (Unexploded Ordnance), returned more than 18,000,000sqm2 of land back to local communities, and freed more than 900,000 people from the threat on explosives.
Our TB detection work has identified 8,000 additional cases missed by local clinics, screened more than 300,000 samples, and prevented more than 29,000 potential TB infections.
Quick Links Imgur Gallery of HeroRATs - http://imgur.com/a/unWgu? A Day In The Life Of A HeroRAT In Training - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IxU-MZ12VE Giant Rats Can Detect Tuberculosis - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrp2UgbYJn4 Rats Save Humans From Landmines - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0swUc492hU HeroRATs in the NYTimes - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-the-giant-rats-that-save-lives.html APOPO website - https://www.apopo.org Adopt a HeroRAT - https://www.apopo.org/en/adopt
Apologies for the rubbish formatting.
GOODNIGHT - Thanks, everyone, for our interactions today. It’s been my pleasure to try to field your questions and to learn what it is about APOPO that interests you. Should you have additional questions, or if I can be of assistance in any way, please email me at [email protected]. Best wishes to all and good night.