Operation Wallacea (Opwall) is a conservation research organisation that is funded by, and relies on, teams of student volunteers who join expeditions for the opportunity to work on real-world research programmes alongside academic researchers.
Are you interested in bringing a group and getting involved with on-the-ground conservation research? Opwall school expeditions are teacher-led 1-2 week programs at various locations worldwide. All data collected by groups contributes to actual papers and research goals, and covers a wide array of different survey types and taxa. Students can get involved in things like mist-netting for birds and bats, camera trapping for large mammals, herpetofauna and invertebrate projects and many many more.
This is run concurrently with an educational program including lectures and practicals that are built around school syllabuses. There’s also the possibility of undertaking independent research projects that may be able to contribute to coursework.
Most science programmes abroad that deliver research outcomes are funded on a short-term basis by grants with typically tightly restricted aims. Long-term projects covering large bio-geographical scales that can incorporate more than one ecosystem are rare. By adopting a volunteer funded model, Opwall does not suffer from those restrictions and can draw upon researchers from a wide range of different disciplines and academic institutions, and create long-term research projects.
Those researchers and academics also separate Opwall from other volunteer organisations, allowing a truly research orientated project. You can also find out more about peoples experiences and our projects at the Opwall Blog