Welcome to My Digital Record of Borneo

Jesse Hiestand

Smith College, Computer Science ’03
Age 26

After three years in the corporate world, I have recognized that my passion lies in academia. I joined this course to renew my commitment to biology as an important step towards graduate studies.

Through this program, offered by Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, myself & seventeen other students from SE Asia and the United States embarked on a journey that took us over the river and through the woods of Borneo. (Unfortunately, grandmother’s house looked more like a research center and there were no baked goods involved.)

Our woods were lowland mixed dipterocarp forest, in primary and sustainably logged conditions, alluvial, limestone, and for a lucky few willing to take a couple day’s trek, heath forest as well. Our rivers were the Maliau River of the Maliau Basin Conservation Area and Liam River of Lambir Hills National Park. Defying fairy tales, we also explored the coral reef in Malahom Bay of Gaya Island and climbed Mt. Kinabalu, where we summitted as the sun rose.