The latest to receive funding from the Alpkit Foundation is Alexander, an individual who would like to attend a tree climbing course, for science and conservation purposes. The CREES biodiversity research station in Peru offers an access course, teaching safety and research methods. It is designed to encourage independent research in an ecologically important, but inaccessible area, to benefit the conservation of Amazonian forests; an important but threatened habitat.
Alexander explains why he is undertaking the project. “There are three main reasons for me wanting to participate in the course. Recently I have started a PhD for mine restoration in ecology and hydrology, studying links between trees (and whole forests) and their environment. Unfortunately I cannot get to their leaves, an area where stress really shows. I would love to extend my research up to the canopy, to produce meaningful results that can inform the mining restoration plans.
“Secondly, visiting the Amazon in 2014 further spurred my passion for conservation. The course would increase my chances of getting involved with relevant projects, by developing the right skills, character and state of mind.
“Lastly, one of the most important goals for my career is to be in a position where I can give back what has been invested in me, and get others excited for and about the environment. This year will be the first time for me to guide six students through development and execution of their own research, and train them in various scientific methods in the Boreal Forest in Canada. I hope to fuel their passion for science and conservation, just as others have done so for me. In the future I want to be able to train others to become fully-fledged (forest) ecologists, and the climbing course will be the first step into becoming a properly trained mentor, opening doors for myself, and even more so, for others.”
Alexander would like the Alpkit Foundation to help with the cost of the course.