Next summer I am volunteering as a research assistant in one of operation wallacea's fantastic conservation projects in South Africa.
The expedition will take place in two locations: one week in Kruger national park and one week camping in Sodwana marine park. In Kruger national park I will work with a team and complete a bush training course to provide me with the skills needed for a career and to keep me safe throughout the expedition. I will then perform environmental surveys to assess the impact that the over population of elephants has on the biodiversity in the park. This will help us to evaluate how effective current conservation projects are. Consequently we aim will to collect data that will aid fellow researchers in finding a more humane alternative to protect the environment than the current method culling elephants by locals. Thus these impact surveys will also lead to the protection of elephants. At Sodwana marine park I will complete a full PADI diving qualification allowing me to scuba dive anywhere I wish to in the future. Again this will help boost my chances of gaining a career, particularly in marine biology. Everyday I will need to be up at 5am ready to complete two separate dives throughout the day and a few night dives. I will complete a number of fauna and flora surveys so that the data can be compared to previous research projects. This allows us to monitor any changes in population sizes and help identify areas of particular concern in terms of conservation. Scuba diving in South Africa is a completely different experience as it allows me to swim amongst megafauna including sharks, dolphins & whales!
However to be able to do this I need to raise funds of £3,500. Any small donation will make a huge difference and take me one step closer to reaching my target! I aim to post updates of any fundraising activities and successes on my website (lucybaker.moonfruit.com) so check it out!
There will be small rewards for any donations as a token of my gratitude.