We know that our expeditions are amazing and incredible opportunities, and that often the only thing holding people back is the cost. We have a lot of support available to help from the dedicated fundraising team. But one question on a lot of people’s minds is “what is this money going towards?”. Well, the wait is over! The answer is below!
In country costs and research permits
Each country requires a different set of permits in order to conduct our work, this may range from those needed for our camps (it once took over a year to get a permit to build a new dry toilet) to those required for research activities or exporting samples to academic institutions. Applying for research permits for large scale biodiversity monitoring can be a lengthy process and often requires submission of a great deal of information and documents as well as meetings with relevant government bodies or in country partners. This section may also include meetings with in-country partners and relevant authorities required for the running of the projects.
Logistics and Operations Staff
These are the staff involved in planning the expeditions and running the projects on the expeditions, both from our head office team and those in the expedition country. This process is year-round and takes into account all of the health and safety planning, such as evacuation routes and medical kits, right through to making sure we have enough staff, equipment, bd supply systems for food and clean water to drink. We also need staff on the expedition to make sure our camps run well and that we can manage emergency situations that might arise working in such challenging environments, this could be anything from broken plumbing, fallen trees blocking roads to a helicopter evacuation.
Our expeditions wouldn’t be what they are without our expert team of researchers! They conduct our research, record our data and teach our students what they know. If you are heading to the field with us this summer then you’ll meet your team of enthusiastic and hard working science team members, many of which may have a profound impact on your future career choices.
Conducting conservation research in remote locations is not always easy and requires lots of well-maintained equipment. Each type of survey requires specific kit, for example for a bird survey you will need several mist nets with poles and ropes for support, as well as binoculars, guide books, measuring equipment, bags, clipboards… There are also laptops for camera trapping and data logging and analyzing, which mean that somehow we need to be able to charge laptops in the middle of a rainforest on top of a mountain. You see the problem!
Remember that awesome, eye-catching poster you saw that convinced you to sign up and go half-way across the world to help research some of the most remote locations on the planet? Our student volunteers are what makes Operation Wallacea work. We couldn’t do it without you! Therefore some of the money goes towards marketing for next year, to convince the next group of students to come away with us and have an unforgettable experience.
Food and Accommodation
Our camps may not be 5-star luxury but a lot of effort goes into keeping them well-maintained. At most of our sites there are buildings, toilets and showers, which when you’re in the middle of nowhere is quite a feat! The meals are cooked by locals, which also serves as a very important source of income for them. It is also very tasty! I know I’ll never have guacamole as good again…
Transport is a large cost for expeditions as we often work in very remote areas so bringing in supplies, moving around science teams, visiting medical facilities and making sure we always have emergency vehicle options are all very important.
UK Office Administration
Office administration includes maintaining systems like our online portal information system where you can fill in all of your personal details ready for the expedition. This section also covers support from the finance team processing online payments and ensuring money reaches the field correctly all over the world.