Selamat datang di Yongsu!
Welcome to Yongsu, where twenty-three participants and eight instructors gathered for an intensive two-week, hands-on training course in scientific methods that can be used to rapidly determine the biodiversity of forests.
|Suer Suryadi, CI - Irian Jaya's Program Manager; Simon Ormuseray, one of the local leaders; Stephen Richards, team leader; and Bruce Beehler, ornithology instructor, at the research camp, © Debbie Gowensmith|
At a small research station nestled between the sea and a mountainous forest, participants from Irian Jaya (the province also known as Raja Ampat), Indonesia, learned the scientific methods by working side-by-side with expert field biologists and residents from the nearby village of Yongsu Kecil. Sessions held in an open-air, tarp-covered classroom led to an actual survey of the forest, then culminated in data analysis and report preparation. Next, six of the participants will join the experts for the first two weeks of September for a scientific expedition to the Mamberamo region of Irian Jaya, which is scientifically unknown.
During the training course, participants, instructors, and local residents acting as guides worked in the surrounding forest to practice scientific rapid-survey methods for six taxonomic groups: birds, plants, mammals, freshwater fish, herpetofauna (which includes reptiles and amphibians), and insects (specifically butterflies). When several taxonomic groups like these are surveyed collectively, they paint a picture of the area's biodiversity and ecological health. This kind of information is often needed quickly by conservationists, natural resource managers, and other decision-makers, creating a parallel need for biologists trained in rapid survey methods.
This is certainly true for Irian Jaya, Indonesia, which is largely unknown to science, especially when compared to other areas of the world. The participants will be able to use the methods learned during the training course to further study this land that still holds so many secrets, thereby bolstering conservation efforts in Irian Jaya and Indonesia.
In the following pages, meet the participants and the experts, find out what they discovered, and learn how to RAP. Then join us as we head into mysterious Mamberamo; you can keep up to date on what's happening by reading my daily journals from the field!
Yongsu Training Notes
Go into the field with...
Go Straight the Mamberamo Dispatches >>