Class Visits - Operation Wallacea

Class Visits

Independent class trips
Operation Wallacea has developed research centres and facilities at 22 sites around the world. These research centres are used for our expeditions in the summer months, a few of them can be open throughout the rest of the year for independent academic class trips. The set up of the trips is intended to offer as much flexibility as possible, allowing them to be designed around the requirements of the class. For example trips can be based at just one site within a country or move around sampling different habitats, including time in both forest and marine systems if required. The trips can be run for any length of time with a simple price structure based on flexibility.

All trips to all of the sites are set at a cost of $800 a week per student, with 10 students covering the cost of a single academic. This price can be divided to fit needs, so the price can be calculated to match a 10 day trip for example. Equally part costs of academics will be covered with, for example, 15 students covering the costs of 1.5 academics. Each country has an agreed start and finish point and the costs include all the transfers from this point, food, accommodation, use of facilities, equipment, boats, vehicles etc, diving if required and safety systems including medical cover.

Academics interested in developing courses utilising these facilities outside the Opwall season may wish to apply for the Class Group Visiting Academic scheme.

Operation Wallacea has developed a number of written courses with exam material which are used for the training of volunteers joining the main research programmes. These may be utilised as part of the course being developed by the academics but the responsibility for developing the academic course and delivery of the course will be that of the organising academic.

Class trips as part of the Operation Wallacea research programme
The other way of running class trips is to run them as part of the existing Operation Wallacea field research programme during the June to August period. There are a large number of academics from a range of universities in the field in each year at the various research sites. Class students can sign up for one of the sites and then do a compulsory course during their first week in the field (e.g. reef ecology, Amazonian wildlife ecology and conservation, jungle training and Neotropical forest ecology, bush survival and savannah ecology etc.) followed by 1 – 3 weeks working on the various research projects being run from that site.

The university has to provide an academic to assess the course provision, mark the scripts from the compulsory training course and to audit the various research projects being carried out by different class students. At many of the sites Imperial College London or St Andrews University will be completing these course credit assessments anyway so the systems are established to make it easy for universities to bring their own academic and award course credit. Doing it this way means there is very little for the academic to prepare in advance and new courses in exciting locations can be added relatively quickly to the range of options available to the students at particular universities. The costs for the students are the same as for normally joining the Opwall expeditions but one academic goes free for each 10 students who sign up, making it cost effective for small class groups to be run.

Further Information
For more information on particular course options please email