NFL Cheerleader To Ph.D.: National Geographic Explorer Mireya Mayor | KCUR

NFL Cheerleader To Ph.D.: National Geographic Explorer Mireya Mayor

May 8, 2012

Often described in the media as “a female Indiana Jones,” Mireya Mayor is not your typical scientist.

Both as an anthropologist working in the jungles of Madagascar, and as a wildlife correspondent for National Geographic, the city girl and former Miami Dolphins cheerleader has found herself sleeping in a rain forest hammock amid poisonous snakes, being charged by gorillas, scaling rocky cliffs, and diving with great white sharks.

Mayor's ongoing study of a newfound species of Microcebus, or mouse lemur, which she discovered on a 2000 field expedition in Madagascar inspired the country's prime minister to establish a national park to help protect the new species, conserving the 10 percent that remains of the African island nation’s once vast forest.

In final portion of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the two-time Emmy Award-nominated field correspondent for the National Geographic Channel about her recent visit to Madagascar  and her work to educate audiences worldwide on pertinent wildlife and habitat issues.

HEAR MORE: Mireya Mayor appears at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Monday May 21st at 7:30 p.m. Learn more here.