Eleven members of the Academy expedition team are now in the Philippines, busily documenting species – including ones new to science! – attending meetings, and communicating with those of us still at the Academy. While many details on research support, educational outreach, ground transportation, and lodging are now confirmed, many more still remain to be put in the “Done” column. I’m beginning to suspect that planning the royal wedding was nothing compared to planning this expedition! Thank goodness we have such an amazing team of Filipino friends and colleagues helping us on the ground. Skyping has proved to be tremendously helpful, and with the 15-hour time difference between San Francisco and Manila, it makes for some interesting Skype times. The photo shows the “conference call” from my office at the Academy last Friday, April 29, 3:00 pm – Terry Gosliner and Rich Mooi are on the computer screen, participating by Skype at 6:00 am Saturday their time in Anilao, and Mary Lou Salcedo, our logistical liaison extraordinaire, is on the speaker phone, calling in from her home in Alameda, four hours before heading to SFO for her flight to Manila.
Roberta Brett and I are now the next contingent to head to Manila, leaving this Friday evening, May 6. Both of us are more than excited to be able to use our science backgrounds to help people in the Philippines, back here at the Academy and on the web better understand what this expedition is all about. The amount of work that I need to do between now and then is more than a little daunting, but I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the end of my birthday than beginning the long flight to Manila. It will be wonderful to be back in the Philippines and launching into the myriad outreach programs we have planned in Manila and in local communities where the research is being done. Utilizing the expedition’s research findings for educational outreach, to inform conservation management decisions, and to help build research, education and conservation capacity in the Philippines are all part of the major goals for the expedition and will help ensure the long-term legacy of the expedition. Can’t wait to get there and get started!
Director of Teacher and Youth Education
California Academy of Sciences