Teenager Lauren looks to support global conservation expedition
A TEENAGER is looking to raise Â£3,000 to fund her place on a conservation expedition to Borneo.
Year 11 student, Lauren McAuley, 16,Â is part of a groupÂ of 17 students from University Technical College Portsmouth who has been selected to be part of a special scientific research team. The youngsters will be looking into biodiversity and conservation in the area.
'˜The expedition will last for two weeks with the first being based in the rainforest and the second looking at the coral reef ecosystem. We are going to being examiningÂ biodiversityÂ and carrying out species counts on endangered creaturesÂ to analyse the impact that people are having. A guidebook will also be produced about the wildlife which lives in the forest,' explained Lauren.
The expedition is being led byÂ Operation Wallacea -Â a network of academics from European and North American universities, who runÂ biodiversity and conservation management research expeditions.Â
The trip, which will run after students have taken their examinations, is being coordinated by geography teacher, Hannah Hawkins.
'˜The students will be helping to protect important species such as orangutans in the rainforestÂ and underwater species like turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. It is a real life scientific project in which students get to collect real data, giving them experiences that may prove useful for university,' explained Ms Hawkins.Â Â
'˜I am really excited about the visit as it is one of those trips you will only get to do once in a lifetime,' said Lauren.
As part of the coral reef research, studentsÂ will also be completing their PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) open water qualification.Â
In order to take part in the expedition, students are required to raise Â£3000.Â
Ms Hawkins said: '˜To raise their sponsorship students are running a daily tuck shopÂ and are organising a film night on November 7. Bag packing, car washing and a summer fete are also in the pipeline for later in the year. There is also a sponsored 15-mile walk taking place in November.'
'˜I am confident IÂ can raise my sponsorshipÂ as I don't want to miss out on this unique opportunity. I want to become a primary school teacher and this is the kind of experience you pass on to young childrenÂ to inspire future generations,' added Lauren.
Ms Hawkins said that the work carried out by Lauren and the rest of the students willÂ play a vital role in helping to protect endangered species and their habitats.