“Working in the rainforest was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Fortunately I went in the dry season so it was easy to do my job. Our task was to map landscapes for invasive species and to implement a plan to introduce native plants and animals. I worked with a small team that hopped in a large 4-wheel drive each morning to visit the work site. I enjoyed the getting to know like-minded people. And the best part was seeing the results after each hard day.”
Our conservation biology projects are some of the most important and interesting options that we have. The exciting part of our project is seeing immediate results and knowing that every hour you spend is increasing biodiversity. We work with non-profits as well as indigenous groups who are committed to a particular place and seeing it flourish.
There are six interlinked stages in the systematic planning approach.
1. Compile data on the biodiversity of the planning region
2. Identify conservation goals for the planning region
3. Review existing conservation areas
4. Select additional conservation areas
5. Implement conservation actions
6. Maintain the required values of conservation areas
One of our projects focusses on stream restoration. Replacing invasive species on the streamside and within the water with native plants affects the entire ecosystem. Native and endemic aquatic life has a chance to recover and regain a foothold once the exotics are removed. This project is a big favorite with the local community. You may be joined on weekends with school children and parents who want to lend a helping hand and restore the stream to how their grandparents may have known it. It is this kinship with a particular waterway or forest that minimizes the human/nature divide and reminds us that ultimately we are all connected.
We also have terrestrial projects that involve the reintroduction of native mammal and bird species to a given area. In these projects, the landscape is assessed and exotic plants and trees removed in favor of native vegetation. The caloric needs of a given species are examined and once the restored acreage can provide that the species is re-introduced.
Some of our projects allow you to split time in the office and the field. This allows for a comprehensive introduction to what it takes to restore an environment from the inside out Students may be introduced to GIS—Geographic Information Systems—which is a real skill and important for any career in the field. Likewise, our projects often include an educational component that allow you to share your work with school groups or the outside community.