This year, Tolson is initiating his third research project at Guantanamo Bay: a study of the habitat use and home range of the Cuban boa, pictured above with members of Tolson's research team.
Tolson became interested in research possibilities on the naval base even before he was a scientist. "I was in the Marine Corps and Cuba was one of my duty assignments. I was there two years. When I left, I used the GI bill to go to school and I was mentored by a famous scientist who worked in Cuba prior to Castro." Tolson realized that the base's relative isolation offered unique opportunities for researchers. When asked if he's concerned about the base or the detention facility closing (President Obama has tried to close the detention camp), Tolson says, "I'd hate to see the mission diminished, because this is an important refuge for endangered species."