SIS News Archive
SIS is pleased to introduce an experiential education opportunity that some of our students will be attending this summer.
Operation Wallacea is a network of academics from European and North American universities, who design and implement biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions. The programs are operated world-wide and are designed with specific wildlife conservation aims in mind - from identifying areas needing protection through to implementing and assessing conservation management programs. Large teams of ecologists, scientists and academics who are specialists in various aspects of biodiversity of social and economic studies are concentrated at the target study sites.
This program is geared toward high school students in their last two or three years of study before going onto university who are interested in experiencing field study course work. Students can use the data from these field studies toward their Extended Essay paper for the IB Program.
This summer our first expedition will be to Indonesia. It is a two week course that will deal with terrestrial and marine habitats. We will be spending the first week on Sulawesi, a small island region that has unique biodiversity due to its isolation from other larger landmasses by the deep ocean channels that surround the islands. Sulawesi has a large percentage of local flora and fauna, including 127 species of mammals, 700 species of bird, and 74 species of herpetofauna. Because of its isolated location, this area remains one of the least biologically studied areas in the world, and one of the most likely places to discover vertebrate species that are totally new to science.
The forest week will focus on completing wildlife surveys including jungle skills training, forest measurements, butterfly surveys, bird surveys, herpetofauna surveys, large mammal and bird surveys, and bat surveys. Students will also complete a course in biodiversity and endemism in the forests as well as conservation synthesis. Some students will also be completing a Jungle Canopy Access - being able to experience the rainforest from a new level by learning how to climb into the high canopy of the tropical rainforest with qualified instructors.
'40% of all life on earth lives there, so why not take a look for yourself...?'
The second week we will move to the marine camp in Wakatobi National Park. The reefs in this part of the world are the some of the most biologically rich of any reefs in the world and form part of the Coral Triangle - reefs with the highest richness of hard coral genera anywhere. Here, students will get certified in PADI open water diving!! Once they're certified, they will go on multiple dives and participate in stereo video surveys to measure fish populations; line intercept video surveys; macro-invertebrate surveys; and fisheries populations surveys.
Here is a link to a page where you can download the Indonesia Powerpoint presentations form and you can also read more about the Indonesia research programme and expedition Information here along with the full health and safety page along with the page outlining the Educational Benefits.
I'm very excited to be bringing this opportunity to our SIS community - stay tuned for a full briefing of our adventure this summer!
- Alexandra Michaels, IB Biology and Geometry Teacher