I am 26 years old and studying full time for a Masters of Science in Eco-Tourism, I also work part time, but this will not allow me to save up enough for this field trip. I am studying ecology and tourism because nature exists in an elegant balance that our species is disrupting, and I believe that encouraging people to enjoy and learn about the environment is one of the best ways to educate people to the wonders and needs of our living infrastructure.
The field trip to Tobago is an entire module in itself with intensive learning and experience. On it we will have the opportunity to learn the following:
- How to identify coral reef organisms
- Techniques for surveying coral reefs
- Rainforest flora and faunan identification
- Tropical habitats
- Surveying techniques for Mangrove swamps
- Rainforest Stream Ecology
- Identification, habitat and behaviour of Amblypygids (a type of arachnid)
- The history of the Amer Indians
- Behaviour and monitoring techniques for Leatherback turtles
- Tropical bird species identification, especially hummingbirds
- A comparison of successful and failed ecotourism projects
Financially, the cost of accommodation, transport, and educational expenses when we are in Tobago comes to about £700, and the other £800 would go towards flights.
This is a fantastic opportunity, and I would relish the chance to learn about rainforest and tropical ecology, which is very different from the type of wildlife and natural environment in Scotland where I live and study. It would also mean that once I graduate I would be much more eligable for jobs both at home and internationally, as I would have broader understanding of the issues facing environmentalists and sustainable tourism operators.
If anyone could spare a few pounds (or dollars) towards this it would be hugely appreciated, and if you think it looks interesting and would like to know more about it feel free to contact me.