With around 3000 students in the field with us every summer, working alongside a team of over 200 scientists, our expeditions generate a wealth of valuable data. As well as ensuring these data are collected in a scientifically rigorous way, it is also our responsibility to ensure they address relevant questions tailored to each particular site, and most importantly that they contribute towards real research and conservation outputs. These outputs generally fall into three distinct categories, and Opwall’s in-house research team coordinates the efforts of our collaborating academics and local partner organisations to see them through to completion.
Peer-reviewed publications let other scientists learn about your work, incorporate it into their own research, and helps advance knowledge and understanding amongst the scientific community. It’s also a great way to quality control your own work, as each publication is reviewed thoroughly by at least two independent experts. Data collected by Opwall volunteers have now contributed to more than 500 publications in international journals.
Long-term monitoring of ecosystem health and biodiversity forms the foundation of wildlife conservation and research. It allows threats to be identified, and the impact of conservation interventions to be assessed. Ecosystem monitoring data collected by Opwall volunteers is used to produce local management plans, provides baseline data for scientific publications, and directly contributes towards the design and implementation of conservation interventions.
Conservation is our ultimate goal, and each of our sites is working towards a clear set of conservation aims. While some are reasonably straightforward, many require additional effort and funds beyond the scope of Opwall’s summer expeditions alone. Opwall therefore donates all data collected to its partner charity The Wallacea Trust, who lever funds and develop novel conservation interventions based on the concept of bringing economic incentives to local stakeholders.