Matthew Burns

SEDBERGH SCHOOL MADAGASCAR EXPEDITION DEPARTS

A group of 14 Sedberghian biologists, geographers and geologists leave for the island of Madagascar on 22nd June for a two week field research visit. 

The group of pupils in Year 10 to 13, led by Dr Emily Fitzherbert, Mr Jim Fisher and Mrs Gwynie Parry, will spend the first week in the dry forests of northern Madagascar, working with Phd and post-doctoral students completing biodiversity surveys including: Lemur sampling and trapping, frog sampling, completing forest structure surveys and bird point counts, whilst also completing a forest ecology course.

The group will then move to the coast, to Nosey Be Island to study coral reef ecology. After completing their PADI diving course, which they began at School, they will again be working with research scientists studying coral bleaching, species diversity conservation. 

Prior to the visit later this month, the pupils had a lecture from Operation Wallacea, who run the expedition, and they received expedition packs. The visit will also include a visit to a local school, where pupils will donate educational equipment such as books and pens. 

Dr Fitzherbert, a former field research scientist with experience in Tanzania, Indonesia and Belize said: “This visit is the best way possible for our students to experience travel in the developing world before venturing out by themselves in the future.

This is sparking their imagination, extending their horizons,  pushing them beyond comfort zones and seeing what science is like in the real world.

They will have access to scientists engaged in cutting-edge research and will undoubtedly gain a better understanding of what wildlife, biology, conservation and ecology are, and perhaps find their own reasons to care and to be motivated.”

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