Human Nature: Courage

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In this week’s installation of our Human Nature series, we’re sharing stories about times the natural world forces us to draw on our courage.

Part 1: Dorothy Tovar faces her fear of nature when she embarks on a month-long safari trip in Botswana's Okavango Delta.

Part 2: Caving with her research team in South Africa's Cradle of Humankind, Nompumelelo Hlophe finds herself in a tight spot.

Dorothy Tovar is a Ph.D. Candidate studying Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University. Her research investigates antiviral immune responses in bats to understand their remarkable ability to host viruses that are deadly to humans, like Ebola, without getting sick themselves. Dorothy is also an Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN Initiative. This role has given her a national platform to inspire girls and underrepresented minorities in STEM. Through IF/THEN Dorothy has worked with CBS, The United Nations Foundation, Seventeen Magazine, Girl Scouts of the USA, and Reddit.

Nompumelelo Hlophe is a third-year biological anthropology PhD student at Texas A&M University. She was born in South Africa and moved to the U.S. in August 2016 to pursue her master’s at Georgia Southern University. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Information Science degree in 2015 and also became an exploration technician/caver, looking for new fossil sites in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa. After completing her PhD studies, Nompumelelo plans to go into academia or research and hopefully have an opportunity to recruit young South Africans to get into the field of anthropology.

As always, find photos and transcripts from our stories at storycollider.org

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