Establishing a Geo/Earthcache Programme for Global Environmental Change Education and Awareness in the South Pacific John Lowry, University of the South Pacific With funding from the United States Embassy Pacific Island Fund for Small Development Grants
Global Environmental Change Coral Bleaching Rising Sea Level Logging in Tropical Forests
Environmental Change EarthCaches • Student proposalsfor Earthcache project • Environmental Change & Geographic Location • Work on projects over summer break • USP provides: • GPS receiver • Digital Camera • Travel funds and small stipend • Mentoring/Advising • Students provide: • Ideas & enthusiasm • Leg-work
Samoa (Agnes Wulf) “Effects of the 2009 Tsunami on the Physical Environment and Human Activities in the Falealili District Coastal Areas” • Documentation: Photographs, GPS locations, interviews, video recordings • Question: How have peoples’ perspectives of living near the ocean changed?
Solomon Islands (Dalton Hone) “Climate Change: Effects of Rising Sea Levels at Otong Java Atoll” • Documentation: Interview older people on island regarding physical changes • Question: What challenges is the rising sea level bringing to the atoll?
Solomon Islands (Errinah Lawrence) “Relocation of bats as bio-indicators of environmental change” Photo by E Bowen-Jones/Courtesy FFI • Question: How have the roosting areas of bats changed in the last 30-40 yrs? • Documentation: Interview old timers in the village, and record locations of old and new roosting areas. Look for evidence explaining why bats are relocating
Fiji Islands (SeruwaiaMasa) “Evidence of Coral Bleaching in the Tavuki Reefs, Kadavu” • Question: How does coral bleaching affect the livelihood of people in Tavuki and what can be done to overcome the obstacles? • Documentation: Interview villagers about how coral bleaching affects their everyday lives, and how the villages deal with the effects of coral bleaching.
Publication/Dissemination • Sift through and organise data to synthesize informative webpages that “tell the story” • Post to Geo/Earthcaching websites • Create our own website: • Interactive Web-based Map • Web Blog • Data repository • ?????
Project Outcomes • Learn how write proposals and create budgets • Learn how to use GPS receivers • Extend what they’ve learned at USP to their home countries • Student research(data collection, knowledge generation, and dissemination/publication) • Student GPS Club (Geo/Earthcaching) • Develop a database of local knowledge/experience about environmental change in the South Pacific
Acknowledgements • Norman Barth, American Embassy Suva • Kevin McConell, LukemineEnteprises • Conway Pene, USP • Eberhard Weber, USP • Mark Stephens, USP