For their first week, students will be based in the endemic-rich rainforests of Buton Island in South-East Sulawesi. Here they will help scientists and academics collect data on biodiversity, which will be used to measure how well the forests are being protected under their proposed conservation management strategies. They will complete jungle survival skills training and help take part in various surveys such as forest measurement (to quantify the amount of carbon stored), butterfly surveys, bird point count surveys, herpetofauna surveys (conducting both pit line surveys and spotlight searches), large mammal surveys (looking for macaques, anoa and wild pig), bird surveys and bat surveys. They will also complete a course on the Ecology of the Wallacea Forests and have the chance to learn how to access the canopy with a half-day training course from the Canopy Access Ltd team.
For the second week, the group will be based in Hoga. This is at the centre of the Coral Triangle – the most diverse reef systems in the world. Here they will learn to dive to PADI Open Water level, or if they are already dive-trained or just wish to snorkel, complete an Indo-Pacific reef ecology course. The reef ecology course will cover the importance of the marine environment, along with underwater survey techniques.
I look forward to seeing you at 8am on Tuesday 10th September in the Jo Adamson Theatre, 7th floor Blue Building.