The work of Earthwatch participants is fundamental to the success of this project, because it is looking at time and spatial issues at a large scale, which requires a large volume of data. However, no specialist skills are required and all participants are given the requisite training upon arrival.
Examples of participant research tasks are shown below:
Participants are trained to safely handle amphibians. They learn to identify key species and to take a number of measurements, including measure snout vent length and gender. Participants also support data entry.
Biodiversity & habitat mapping
Using GPS, participants record precise longitude, latitude and altitude at site of amphibian sampling. Back at the research centre participants are involved in generating species distribution maps and classifying of satellite imagery.
Monitoring amphibian calls
Participants set up amphibian ‘call loggers’, which record amphibian vocalisations for two hours. At the end of sampling participants take the loggers back to the research centre, where they download and analyse the data.
Recording ecological parameters
Participants are given hand-held digital probes and taught how to measure temperature, humidity and pH. They record these ecological parameters along with land-use type, predominant vegetation, canopy cover, litter depth and fresh water features.
Participants will visit local villages to let them know about the research work. This is an opportunity to learn about local culture, including exploring the importance of amphibians within the Hindu religion, where they are considered to be the harbingers of life and potency