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Expanding Horizons: The Rewards of New Experiences

By on October 29, 2012 in EDGE Fellows, EDGE Updates, News, ZSL

One of the great things about this year’s EDGE Conservation Tools training course is that, by bringing together conservation biologists working on mammals, amphibians and corals, participants can share their experiences across marine and terrestrial habitats. The participants are fast learning that they share many of the same challenges and that they can learn a lot from each other. Course participant Caleb Ofori, who normally works on amphibians, tells us more…


I am in the midst of some exciting events here in Mombasa, Kenya and I can’t wait to share them with you. The thought of Mombasa brings to mind nice beaches, holiday, sunshine, and perhaps even bikinis. And whilst you may be right, I wish to share with you an even better experience. At the invitation of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), I am one of only 13 participants from 10 different countries receiving specialized training in ecology and conservation.

Me on the mangrove board walk

The course aims to enhance the capacity of field biologist and conservationists to save some of the worlds ”coolest” wildlife species. As a field biologist, my experiences on the course have already been life-transforming; in just 72-hours I have already learnt more hands-on skills in ecology than I probably did in all 4-years of my undergraduate training.

Diorene and myself aiding in deployment of a camera trap


My most profound experience on the course so far has been the exposure to marine conservation. Of course, I have seen this environment in documentaries, but that’s nothing like experiencing it for real – earlier in the week my course mates swam with thousands of brightly coloured fish and some very cool dolphins in the Indian Ocean. Next week I will get to go snorkelling. Man! This is what I call ‘cool’. I have seen the skyscrapers of Chicago, the trams in Berlin, the underground train system in England and even the red-light districts in Amsterdam but nothing comes close to this amazing marine life.

Me and the KWS guards exploring Kenyan shrub-land

The coming weeks promise to be both exciting and challenging. There is going to be more statistics and I look forward to getting a good grasp at some of the principles underpinning these methods. Thanks to Dr Raj Amin, I have now understood that getting the basics right is key, or perhaps I should say ‘is the king’ if course tutor Dr Craig Turner will let me borrow from his phrase: ‘data is king’.

Keep your fingers crossed for even more exciting updates in coming weeks.

The EDGE Conservation Tools training course forms part of the EDGE Fellowship programme – to learn more click HERE