Monday, December 27, 2010
Reptile & Amphibian Ecology International (RAEI), a nonprofit conservation ecology organization, has a new innovative program that puts used cameras and other equipment to work for promoting the science and art of biodiversity. RAEI accepts donations of all kinds of gear crucial to conservation ecology, from camera bodies and lenses to GPS units. The donated equipment is used by biologists and photographers in the field to document the diversity of life. Some of the gear is used by RAEI staff, but many of the recipients of the donated items are residents of impoverished regions in Ecuador, Mexico, and Cameroon, according to Dr. Paul Hamilton, executive director.
Residents of targeted study areas are chosen for their knowledge of ecosystems and abilities to conduct field work. They are then given basic gear like cameras, GPS units, and data sheets, along with training and a research manual. They are also taught the technical skills needed to take photos and field data, and given instructions on how to get their photos and data to biologists who can use them. A list of items that are particularly needed can be found at RAEI's website, www.raei.org.