The End of an Era

After over 6 years of intensive research and community development work in and around the Yachana Reserve, GVI Amazon is coming to a close. We have finished our final research project (look forward to our Road Effects paper, coming soon!) and are handing over the project to our partner, The Yachana Foundation. They will continue to maintain and monitor the reserve, using it as an hands-on science education center for students -- we're very excited to see what fabulous things this next generation of scientists find! For more detail on GVI Amazon's closure, and our accomplishments over the years, please read on...
GVI Amazon Closure Statement

Saturday, August 21, 2010

GVI Is Really Great

If there is one thing that sticks out to me about being on the Rainforest Conservation and Community Development expedition in Ecuador, it’s that the effort for conservation does not require huge expertise. As a 2-weeker from New York, with no background in biology or environmental science or field work, I feel like I’ve already contributed qualified time here with GVI Amazon. The program is structured around many projects ranging from communication with the locals to visual encounter surveys for amphibians, to mist-netting for birds – all coming together towards a grander goal of conservation and awareness. For a volunteer, this is a good time for a new perspective – whether it be as big as the total change of environment, or as small as a gap between the trees straight ahead – bearing in mind the beauty of the Amazon inside (or outside rather), your window could come in the form of a new group of people from places you’ve never been, or it can show itself as the feeling that washes over you after the first rain: Most likely, all these things will roll up into a nice fulfilling package.

Some people have their favourite project, mine so far being the Sat Camp experience. Over the course of 24 hours we camped out in an area of primary forest with very little disturbance and a brand new tree fall. We took a night walk and came across different types of frogs, birds, insects (click beetles, scorpions and spiders), and a snake. We were able to observe nature that stretches up and bubbles throughout its own, pockets of wildlife, hiding in a canopy of leaves, beneath the nose of the sun. We camped out in hammocks and got swarmed with sweat bees, and in the morning we used mist nets to survey the birds in the area. This was a really good way to understand bare necessities.

No matter what your background is, if you have any interest in a neotropical world of various creatures and experiences, GVI Amazon in Ecuador is an excellent place to immerse yourself in.

Solgil Oh - GVI Amazon volunteer, 6th-20th August 2010