National Geographic : 1994 Feb
On Assignment «- hate heights," says freelance photographer JAY DICKMAN, dangling 40 feet above the rushing Hunstein River to focus on Francis Malekai collecting leaves for a botanical expedition. "But you can't think about that when you're working." You can think about home, though. On assignment deep in the Papua New Guinea rain forest, Jay hadn't been able to call his pregnant wife and young son for several weeks. Then he finally got a ham radio transmission patched through to them in Littleton, Colorado. "Don't be scared," he told his wife over the phone, "but could you call the Centers for Disease Control for me? I need to know what medi cine to take. I think I have malaria." He didn't, however-and got home, healthy, in time for the birth of daughter Maggie. Jay is used to working in perilous places. In 1983, on staff at the Dallas Times Herald, he received a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the war in El Salvador. Jay has participated in ten Day in the Life photographic book projects. For this issue he also covered the Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Park in British Columbia. As a boy, freelance writer JACK RUDLOE found his turtles in a Brooklyn dime store. His mother, a nurse, brought home vitamins for the pets, which grew so large over S. H. SOHMER the years that the family finally donated them to the Staten Island Zoo -where they promptly fell prey to the alligators. Jack is still fond of big turtles, but these days he finds them more plen tiful south of New York City. At a beach near Tamarindo, Costa Rica (left), Jack checks a leatherback research subject before her release to the sea. He had spent the previ ous night hugging the huge creature, holding one of her front flippers as she was wired for body-temperature studies. "That was one saintly tur tle," says Jack. "I was so tired at one point, I fell asleep on her head, and she just let me rest there. With some kinds of sea turtles, I'd have been hamburger." Jack is the author of five books, including Time of the Turtle. This is the fourth article for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC by him and his wife, marine biologist Anne Rudloe. They make their home in Panacea, Florida. Jack doesn't keep turtles as pets any more, he says, "but it would be a better world if every kid had a turtle." NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC (ISSN 0027-9358) IS PUBLISHEDMONTHLY BY THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY,1145 17THST. N.W ., WASHINGTON, D. C. 20036. $21.00 A YEAR,$2.65 A COPY. SECOND-CLASSPOSTAGEPAID AT WASHINGTON,D. C., ANDELSEWHERE.POSTMASTER:SEND ADDRESSCHANGESTO NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC,P.O . BOX2174, WASHINGTON,D. C. 20013.