Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Melissa Maxa

Environmental & Forest Sciences


2009 Fellows

Travel Locations: Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria

Maxa aims to travel from South East Asia to Eastern Europe through most of the world’s major biomes. She plans to begin in tropical Cambodia and Vietnam and gradually move northward into the temperate forests, following China’s awe-inspiring rivers from mountains to sea. Train travel across northern China and Russia would offer up the wide remote expanses of grasslands, deserts, boreal forests, and taiga. She would then go southward through the rolling hills and plains of Eastern Europe’s big deciduous woods, from the lakes of Belarus through the Black Sea nations of Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. This travel plan reflects her fascination with the complexities of the natural world and the diversity of ways that humans fit into it.