Ascension : Conservation Weekly
Submitted by The Islander (Conservation Office) 24.11.2011 (Article Archived on 08.12.2011)
I am from the east coast of the UK and have studied plant conservation for several years, achieving a BSc in Plant Biology and an MSc in Botanical Conservation.
Joining the conservation team in Ascension
Catherine Supple 20th November 2011
I am from the east coast of the UK and have studied plant conservation for several years, achieving a BSc in Plant Biology and an MSc in Botanical Conservation. I have worked with and studied plants in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens South Africa, Seychelles and Mexico and am looking forward to getting stuck into my work here. My previous job was as a countryside ranger which included habitat restoration, woodland management and involving the community in practical conservation.
This is my first time on Ascension and I am delighted and feel privileged to be here! The island itself is so diverse and I am looking forward to exploring it over the next two years. I was so pleased to be offered this job as it has been one of my ambitions to be working with island endemics.
I will be working with the conservation team as a Project Field officer on an OTEP (Overseas Territories Environment Programme) funded project titled an Ecosystem Approach to Plant Conservation on Ascension Island. This will involve looking at keystone species, training and restoring endemic and native plant species on sites located on the xeric larva plains and the Green Mountain. The project has been funded for two years, but hopefully the restoration will continue for many years to come building on previous OTEP projects such as the Green Mountain national Park (2004-2006) and Ascension Island Endemic Plants Conservation (2008-2010).
My first week has been extremely interesting as I have been getting to know the diverse habitats of the island. My first visit was Pan Am beach to monitor any turtle activity. Other areas include Comfortless Cove and the established plant restoration area near South Gannet Hill where Stedson and the team have already put in place a successful Euphorbia origanoidesrestoration area. I have also ventured up to Green Mountain which I found amazing to note the difference in climate and habitat. I am also looking forward to getting involved with the Seabird restoration project with Nathan and Dane and of course, monitoring the Green turtles as they come to the beaches to nest. The past projects undertaken by the conservation team have all been a success so I am delighted to be part of the team.
Overall I believe the next two years are going to be very interesting in terms of restoration conservation and hopefully I will have a positive input into the success of the project. And I am looking forward to getting involved with and being part of Ascension life!
Clearing invasives plants to recycle into compost which will be used at the endemic plant restoration sites and nurseries
Please be advised that due to on-going field work the Conservation Office will open from 7.30am -10am during week days. We open as normal on Saturdays, 10am-12noon, signs will be posted on the door when the office is closed.
Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.Volunteers welcome. Please contact Natasha Williams or Jolene Sim. Ascension Island Conservation Department. Georgetown. Tel: 6359. Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org