Thank you for your interest in our project! I'm Dr. Christopher Frost and I will be leading a student expedition from the New College of Florida to the Peruvian Amazon this January. While we are there, we will be focusing on continuing a 7-year data set on observing insect-plant interactions and their relation to climate change and developing our own research projects that match our individual interests. We will also be exploring the local environment and interacting with the indigenous people of Peru. So far we have been able to provide enough funds to provide for our travel, lodging, and meals ($2500/person) - everything except the research equipment. In order to make the research portion of our trip possible we still need funds to purchase equipment for our projects!
We are doing this GoFundMe in order to obtain the rest of the supplies needed to make our research projects a success! Money provided by you for this project will provide funds for Malaise traps and other insect traps which are expensive but necessary for our research. Other supplies for student-created experiments include petri dishes, chromatography plates, glass vials and sucrose solutions. All of this equipment is important so that we can make the most out of this fantastic opportunity!
Total equipment costs are approximately $1200 - however we will also have to provide shipping and baggage costs for the equipment bringing our total to approximately $1500. If we are able to raise more than we need to pay for our equipment, supplies, and shipping then we will use extra funds to help offset the $2500/person amount we have each had to pay from personal funds. Thanks again for your support and helping us obtain the equipment we need to make our expedition a success!
If you would like further details, please read more below about our group, our trip, and our research projects below!
There are 14 people in or student group and we are excited about the scholarly and cultural aspects of our expedition! Before we leave on January 14th, we will be studying the region and biological life of the Peruvian canopy, as well as field and insect trapping procedure. We will be studying at our college and the nearby Myakka national park, the closest Floridian equivalent to our eventual location. Once we reach the Peruvian Amazon we will be taught how to assess insect herbivory damage on plant leaves and how to collect insects from various locations in the canopy to determine which insects are feeding on the plants. The long term dataset is evaluating leaf damage levels int he canopy. Some of our intended projects that springboard from this main project and align with our interests are to assess the different leaf chemistries of canopy trees, to survey canopy insects before and after experimental damage, to manipulate the quality of leaves selected by leaf cutter ants (an important 'herbivore') and to assess the relative damage to orchids and other epiphytes. We also look forwward to studying bioluminescent fungi!
While we are in Peru, we will also experience some of the cultural and environmental aspects. In Iquitos we plan to see what the city canopy has to offer including eating suri (beetle grub!) in the marketplace! We also plan to spend some time with pink river dolphins, tour an ethnobotanical garden, fish, birdwatch, explore how molasses is made, and interact with Yagua and Bora indigineous people of Peru.
In order to make the research portion of our expedition possible, we need equipment for our excursion! Funds provided by you will go directly to our research and education supplies so that we can make the most out of this fantastic opportunity! Thank you for your support!
- Daisy smolic
- Deborah Roski
- Christa Dillabaugh
- Logan Schulman
- joyce & bill bendix
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