Jessica Melrose is this year’s expedition leader and she is returning to Trinidad for a second time to do her dissertation research. Last year, Jessica helped with various things including a geography project that focused on the waste management of the island.
- Why do you want to go to Trinidad?
It was an amazing experience last summer, it forces you to broaden your horizons by being open minded, to take risks, develop new skills, be inquisitive about your surroundings and amerce yourself in the local culture. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to return this time to carry out a different geography project.
- What are you most looking forward to?
Trinidadian food and jungle dinners.
- What are you least looking forward to?
Long car journeys and being car sick.
- What is your project about?
I will be leading the Geography project as part of the data collection will be contributed towards my dissertation. My project is going to focus on how the population of Trinidad perceives each of the different hazards associated with the island, as well as investigating how vulnerable different communities are based on their geographical location. I will be investigating Trinidadians view and opinions on the environmental hazards they have been directly affected by through carrying out surveys and interviews. Otherwise I will be helping out on the other zoological projects.
- Why are you interested in this?
Due to how relevant this topic is to Trinidad since scientists are predicting more environmental hazards are going to be hitting Trinidad with the change in climate. I have always been interested in environmental hazards, as we have not way to fully protect ourselves from the occurrence of natural processes of the Earth, especially with tectonic related events that are unpredictable. It really interests me that we do not know when the next plate boundaries are going to shift that would cause an earthquake to occur. How do we react to these natural events? Is there really a correct way to respond? Will our society develop to the point in which environmental hazards are no longer classed as disasters (no loss of life)?
As Jessica said above, an increase in environmental hazards has been predicted as a consequence of climate change. Trinidad is affected by various hazards due to the island’s geographical location. Situated just above the equator, in the tropics, it is exposed to tropical storms that can become an issue during the rain season between June – November. Additionally, the area is geologically active as the Central Range fault line runs through the heart of the island and some have expressed concern that the fault may be capable of causing an earthquake. Trinidad is also nearby ‘Kick ’em Jenny’ – an active volcano close to Grenada – which is monitored by the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre on the Trinidad campus.
It is hoped that Jessica’s research may provide us with a better understanding of the environmental hazards affecting Trinidad.
If you wish to support this research, along with many other projects, please donate to our gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/uofg-trinidad-expedition-2018
Make sure to keep up with this blog in order to learn about the projects and our fundraising efforts!