March 1, 2002

Officials Find Missing C.U. Research Team

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A Cornell alumna and current graduate student were rescued Wednesday afternoon after being missing for almost a week in Armando Bermudez National Park in the Dominican Republic.

Patrick Martin grad and his assistant Olivia Duren ’01 got lost Feb. 21 while researching forest vegetation, and are now recuperating at a scientific field office in Jarabacoa.

They were rescued by a search team with the Dominican government’s civil defense agency, according to Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service.

Duren is recovering from a stomach flu, and both researchers are expected to recuperate fully, according to their project advisor, Prof. Timothy Fahey, natural resources. The project began in the Caribbean country in mid-January and will continue until March 16.

“I presume next week they’ll be at work,” Fahey said.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Martin and Duren were researching Pino occidentalis, a rare pine tree, when they lost their trail due to fog and fatigue.

They survived by rationing two days of food and drinking spring water, and the 60-member search team found them suffering from fatigue, diarrhea and minor scratches, the report said.

Henrik N. Dullea ’61, vice-president for University relations, said that the administration did not know of the missing individuals until Wednesday morning, hours before they were rescued.

“We’re very relieved with the good news that the Dominican Republic rescue workers found them,” Dullea said.

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