I have signed up for an expedition with Operation Wallacea, to spend 6 weeks this summer in Madagascar collecting data for my third-year dissertation.
I will be studying how the distribution of particular species of plants differs, based on certain environmental factors such as elevation, climate and human disturbance. This type of research is vital for conservation efforts, it allows us to determine how common a species is, which areas are of primary importance to conserve, and how human activities may be harming the distribution of particular plants. As Madagascar has a high percentage of endemic species, this is of particular importance to investigate.
I am working hard to build a career based around tropical botany and ecology, as well as science communications. This would be such an incredible opportunity to learn the skills I will need to pursue this dream.
The drawback is, of course, money. I have calculated that I need to raise £4832 in total to cover the cost of the expedition, transport, equipment etc. This means that I will be doing a lot of begging, borrowing and stea…. wait no just the first two. I will also be doing lots of fundraising. I don’t have long to raise the money, so I have set up a couple of things already.
Firstly there is something that ANYONE can help me with for FREE, it literally won’t cost you a penny, seriously! You simply click on this link http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/stephaniemartin (click on picture below if the link isn’t working) and it takes you to my ‘easy fundraising’ page. From here, you follow the instructions to sign up. Once you’ve done that, every time you go to shop online at one of THOUSANDS of online retailers, That company will donate a % of the money to me! It costs you nothing, but would help me so much, so if you are able to then please do take the time to do this, you can even download a toolbar widget, which pops up when you go to checkout and allows you to activate easyfundraising with just a click!
I have also set up my gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/pkaasedw (click on the picture below if the link isn’t working) it has a lot more details on it, and if anyone wants to they can make a direct donation, even just £1 makes all the difference.
The next step will be to write to institutions, companies and organisations requesting grants and sponsorships. I’m sure this will be very time-consuming but luckily I love writing! So hopefully I will be able to obtain some support. I am also increasing my hours at my excellent part-time job and am planning on saving as much of my income as possible each month to go towards the cost of this expedition.
I’m sure there will be lots more activities and plans that will be developed before the summer, and I will write up any interesting ones on here.
I will also definitely be writing up my experiences in Madagascar as part of this blog, so stay tuned for that!
Thanks very much for taking the time to read this.