CFL Reunion: International Edition

 Grad student, Aaron Koning, and faculty member, Pete McIntyre, are currently conducting fieldwork in Thailand where they’re looking at fish migrations in the Mekong River and its tributaries.The Mekong is a critically important fishery for millions of people, supplying food and commerce. Aaron sends in this note about a mini CFL reunion. Lat week, Pete provided a dispatch about Buddhist customs and exotic fish.

On Sunday Pete and I wrapped up the first portion of my field season. We returned to Bangkok from the small town of Mae Sarieng in northern Thailand to meet up with CFL alumnus Dr. Charoen Nitithamyong for dinner. Dr. Charoen completed his Ph.D. in 1988 supervised by John Magnuson and currently is a professor in the Department of Marine Science at Thailand’s top school, Chulalongkorn University. Earlier in Pete’s trip we were able to meet with Dr. Charoen and three of his colleagues to hear about the variety of research projects that are ongoing among their faculty, and to discuss the research that I had proposed to conduct while in Thailand.

Pete, Dr. Charoen and Aaron - a CFL reunion in Thailand.
Pete, Dr. Charoen and Aaron – a CFL reunion in Thailand.

This past Sunday, we had a casual dinner of fried short-bodied mackerel and fish swim bladder soup (a local favorite) with mango and sticky rice for desert. While we ate, Dr. Charoen recounted several stories of his time at the CFL during the mid 1980’s. He also talked about both the impact of John’s mentorship on his approach to teaching and advising and the relationships that he formed at the CFL, several of which he maintains today.
As we finished dinner, Pete and I presented Dr. Charoen with a UW-Madison polo as well as the new Center for Limnology t-shirt. We stopped to take a photo for the CFL archives, possibly the first CFL reunion in Thailand, and received from Dr. Charoen the required documents for the export of our samples. Without the assistance of Dr. Charoen, the work that Pete and I have undertaken in Thailand would have been immensely more difficult. He even called at 3:30 am to make sure that everything had gone smoothly with Pete’s departure at the airport!
Pete has made it back safely with samples still frozen, and now I’ve got a couple of days to catch up on sleep, plan, and resupply before heading out to the field to carry out the remainder of my work.