With an eye to the future, our fieldwork in French Polynesia ended last week with project lead Yadvinder Malhi joining us for a whirlwind tour of Moorea and Tetiaroa.
One of the best things about studying forests is that our research subjects (the trees!) are easy for other people to work with too.
One thousand tree tags later (well it was actually 1003, but who’s counting?!) and our forest monitoring on Tetiaroa is complete. So far we’ve used up 100 metres of pink flagging tape, 56 PVC pipes and eight litres of paint to mark the trees... as well as two bottles of mosquito repellent.
To borrow Rob Whittaker's favourite saying on Oxford Geography field trips - "this is not a holiday"... despite what it looks like!
We are regularly asked – ‘Why are you studying forests on Tetiaroa? It’s just all coconuts trees isn’t it?’, and it’s easy to understand why people are surprised!
So ends our first week monitoring forests on the stunning atoll of Tetiaroa, 3 hours boat ride from Tahiti. Hosted by the Tetiaroa Society, Heipoe and I are living and working with the Tetiaroa Society rangers, guides and other staff of The Brando hotel on Onetahi, the only inhabited motu (islet) on the atoll.
Tropical forests play an important role in the in the global carbon cycle and in regulating our climate. If it wasn't for tropical forests, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be rising by 17% higher than currently observed.
When you stop and listen, there's a constant rumbling around Moorea's coastline - it's where the ocean waves are crashing against the reef on the edge of the shallow lagoon.
It’s time to admit, the popular podcast series ‘Freakonomics Radio’ produced by Dubner Productions and WNYC Studios is amongst the most insightful resources I draw on as a PhD student studying impact evaluation.
Amy Whitehead and colleagues from the University of Melbourne have recently published an article about the application of systematic conservation planning in conjunction with a major urban planning project.