Borneo - Schools Expeditions - Operation Wallacea

Borneo – Schools Expeditions

Borneo Schools Booklet

Structure of the expedition

Groups choosing to come to Borneo will be on our terrestrial site for their first week, which takes place in East Kalimantan, to help with lowland forest biodiversity inventory. For their second week they will be heading over to our marine site a small Island off the coast of East Kalimantan called Derawan Island.

Research Objectives

This new expedition is providing baseline data on a 10,000ha primary forest area in East Kalimantan that was originally scheduled for clearance for a palm oil plantation, but was set aside by the regional government for protection and to increase tourism to the area. However, so little is known about the forest that there is not even a reliable species list of the vertebrates. The forest has orangutans, proboscis monkeys, gibbons and possibly even sun bears as well as many spectacular bird species such as the Great argus. The objective is to quantify the value of this site which is nearly entirely surrounded by palm oil plantations but remains linked by a corridor to a wider area of natural forest. Work will concentrate on describing mammal, bird, reptile and amphibian communities as well as initiating primate behaviour studies as a potential long-term research site.

Forest Week

The group will head to East Kalimantan to help with a lowland forest biodiversity inventory. During this first week students will complete a course on Borneo wildlife ecology then assist with the following projects:

  • Primate abundance and behaviour
  • Birds
  • Forest structure
  • Butterflies
  • Herpetofauna
  • Bats
  • Large mammals


Marine Week

In the second week students complete one of the following:

  • PADI Open Water dive training course: This course involves a combination of theory lessons, confined water dives and open water dives to gain an official scuba diving qualification.
  • Indo-Pacific reef ecology and survey techniques course: This consists of lectures and in-water practicals either by diving (if a qualified diver) or snorkelling. The lectures cover an introduction to coral reef ecosystems, coral and algal species, mangrove and seagrass ecology, economically important invertebrates, identification of coral reef fish, reef survey techniques, threats to reefs and marine conservation. Following each lecture the students will then complete an in-water practical by diving (if already qualified) or by snorkelling.


Week 1: Shared tents

Week 2: 4 person shared rooms