Good news! With the help of Mika Peck (University of Sussex) we "won" a grand which will be a great boost to research in Santa Lucía. First of all it will help us finance the regular monitoring activities, such as bird monitoring and camera trapping in 2021. Secondly, we can enhance our technical possibilities by installing a weather station and several data loggers.
The biggest chunk will be setting up three or four hectare plots in the forest. Those plots will be setup at different elevations. As a first step the trees in the plots will be identified and measured. A constant monitoring of the plots will allow us to understand dynamics in a montane forest and possibly effects of climate change in the future.
Of course the idea also is to attract scientists and students to do research in the same plots on whatever topic they are interested in. Having phenology data for the trees in the plot and also weather data available will enrichen almost any monitoring project in the future.
The grant also includes a training and networking component. The training will be made available for local people (Santa Lucía and surrounding communities) and will focus on abilities required to be a para-ecologist. The networking will hopefully help us getting the current research contacts as well as new ones on one table where they can discuss, plan and execute research ideas.
This is a great step for Santa Lucía, especially in COVID-times where other regular sources of income (tourism) are not available.
Party on! :)