As part of Jessica’s Honours thesis on mapping ecosystem services in Sabah, Jessica and Deepthi made a trip to meet officials from state departments including the Sabah State Water Department, Sabah Parks, Sabah Wildlife Department, and the Sabah Forestry Department. Each department has a specific role in protecting and conserving the watershed, wildlife, and forests of Sabah.
They also visited Rafflesia Nature Reserve, Mt. Kinabalu National Park, Kinabalu Wetlands Centre, Rainforest Discovery Centre at Sepilok, Gomantong Cave, and the Kinabatangan River. They were thrilled to see a tarsier, orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and flying squirrels, along with other mammals and endemic birds. Jessica was pleased to be visiting places that she had previously digitized and drawn in ArcGIS, and both enjoyed hiking and observing wildlife in the lowland Dipterocarp forests of tall Shorea and Kompassia trees.