Written by Dr Timothy Coles
The 2015 Opwall biodiversity research programmes are now close to getting underway, with a number of countries starting this next week (Indonesia 9 June, Honduras 10 June, South Africa 13 June, Peru 14 June) others starting next week (Mexico 15 June, Dominica 15 June, Guyana 16 June, China 16 June, Transylvania 17 June, Greece 18 June, Madagascar 21 June) and one (Cuba 26 June) starting the week after. As a result Opwall staff are now already in the field or headed there to start the cascade training courses for the incoming staff.
Over the next few weeks until the last project, Cuba, finishes on 20 August we will be responsible for the safety of over 3000 students and staff. Steve Oliver, who is the Emergency Officer for the project based in the UK office is in position and ready to start fielding all the enquiries that will inevitably arise, as groups and individuals start arriving on site with hopefully as few missed connections as possible!
From Monday 8 June to Sunday 23 August, the UK office will be manned 24/7. Any urgent messages or enquiries please email email@example.com or call +44 (0) 1790 763194 or Skype (opwallHQ). From the same date onwards you will also be able to check a page showing Status Update for each expedition which will give details of when all groups have arrived on site or any delayed arrivals and how these are being dealt with. So if any of your contacts want to know if you have arrived or have left site at the end of the expedition, then please check this webpage.
Internet connection with some of our sites (most of the forest sites, Cuba) is not very good, so please tell your contacts not to expect to hear from you on a regular basis during your stay. We will be adding short updates and pictures that will be included on our Facebook page and the Twitter feed so please Like or Follow these pages so you can see stories from the expedition sites.
This blog will be for longer articles on how the research projects are progressing, exciting finds or sightings, field diaries from students, articles about specific research projects etc. So if you have any articles please send them through to Olivia Farman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Many thanks to all of those joining the research programmes this summer. I hope we have a very successful set of projects that lead to publications and to achieving the agreed objectives for each programme.