The Indonesia one week marine expedition is based at South Buton marine research centre in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Students who are not yet dive trained will spend the week completing their Open Water SCUBA diving certification supervised by qualified PADI dive instructors, and participating in the Indo- Pacific Coral Reef Ecology lecture series. Those who are already qualified to dive, or opt to snorkel, will complete the same Indo – Pacific Coral Reef Ecology lectures series, which will be supplemented with a variety of land and water-based practicals designed to introduce students to coral reef biology and ecology and the survey techniques used by coral reef scientists.
Throughout the week, students will meet regularly with Operation Wallacea scientists who will give talks about the specifics of their research projects. Alongside the educational courses the students will be expected to complete an independent research project over the course of their expedition and will present their findings to the group.
There is a triangle of reefs in Eastern Indonesia that have the highest diversity of hard coral genera, the proxy commonly used to assess overall diversity of coral reefs, anywhere in the world. Both the marine stations being used by the Opwall teams are in the centre of this triangle. The South Buton Marine Centre has established a series of standard monitoring sites on reefs south of Bau Bau and around the surrounding small islands, with the objective being to use the data to develop plans for conserving these reefs. The Hoga Island Marine Station is located in the heart of the Wakatobi Marine National Park. Over the last 20 years, a series of scientists have been based at this site during the Opwall survey seasons and as a result, this is now the most published site in the Coral Triangle. For the last 15 years a series of constant monitoring sites around Hoga and eastern Kaledupa have been monitored for macroinvertebrates, fish communities, coral cover and community structure. The 2020 season will complete this monitoring plus some additional projects.
The costs of a school group expedition can be highly variable. There is a standard fee paid to Opwall for all expeditions but the location you are flying from, the size of your group, and how you wish to pay all impact the overall cost.
You can choose to book the expedition as a package (which includes your international flights) or you can organise your travel yourself and just pay us for the expedition related elements.
If you are booking your expedition as a package, you also have the option of being invoiced as a group, or on an individual basis.
At the marine sites during the day, the weather is normally sunny and warm (around 30 degrees Celsius), and the night temperatures drop to around 20-25 degrees Celsius. Being on the coast means there is often a pleasant breeze so it does not always feel this hot. It rains rarely, but when it does it tends to be very heavy for short periods of time.
Fitness level required
At the marine sites some fitness is required for in water activities, but conditions are relatively easy.
Facilities at Pantai Nirwana are very comfortable; shared dorm rooms have beds with a mattress, stand-up showers, and Western style toilets. There is very limited cell phone signal which can usually only be used with an Indonesian SIM card and no Wifi access.