With a few months of COVID- and datetime-related delay, the hectare plot training for local parabiologists was finally held yesterday.
After an introduction on Santa Lucía history and research activities given by Holger Beck, Ana Mariscal explained theory and practise of setting up and working on hectare plots to the participants.
In fact, Ana gave a great overview on botany and some of the important plant families of the regions first, before she went on to talk about the importance of hectare plots and the necessary tecniques required to set them up.
After the trainees got introduced into the theory for a couple of hours, they were trained on the correct handling of the equipment (GPS-device, clinometer, etc.).
In the afternoon the whole class when into a near-by forest and set up a small hectare plot (5x5 meters) and learned how to do the field work, such as measuring and identifying trees and well as estimating and taking all other necessary data.
It was a fun day for everybody and we thank Ana Mariscal (Cambugán Foundation) for her time and for presenting and passing on her knowledge to the parabiologists.
Training local people (although not all of them will eventually work on our hectare plots) is one of the key elements of the currently ongoing project because Santa Lucía wants to present research work - be it as project lead or field assistant / parabiologist - as a sustainable alternative for many other less environmental-friendly activities in the region. As much of the research for is usually done in remote places these opportunities unfortunately tend to be less visible to the general public.
We hope to have inspired the audience and would be happy to have the newly trained working in one of our own projects or seeing them working in research-related projects elsewhere in the future!