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Into the wild
Date:5/28/2008

nied on the expedition by four students specialising in zoology, biology, genetics and geography, a botanist from the Russian Academy of Sciences in Vladivostok, a biology professor from Amurskii State University and two Russian undergraduates from Vitus Bering Kamchatka State University.

The team flies out on June 25 and will undertake an orientation week while staying close to Esso village in central Kamchatka, learning general skills for survival and safety including camp protocols, navigation and grizzly bear precautions before establishing more remote fieldwork camps on the western side of the peninsula.

Once in the wilderness, they will spend their time mapping the forests of Bystrinsky Nature Park a UNESCO World Heritage site developing botanical collections of specimens and seeds and gaining skills relating to their individual specialties, including conducting bird surveys, trapping small mammals and cataloguing insects.

Dr Eichhorn said: We really will be in the middle of nowhere. The only interactions we are likely to have with other people are likely to be encounters with indigenous Koryak reindeer herders. As roads are few and far between, you have to use all-terrain vehicles to cover long distances but we expect that we will be trekking cross-country for most of our field trips.

Once a week we'll receive a food drop from the local village and around every 10 days or so we'll head back into town for some human contact. Team members will keep in touch with folks back home by using e-mail there is one computer in the town's library that has internet access.

As we will be so isolated safety provisions have been made. One of the students, Joe Wright, and myself have received specialist medical training and will act as medical officers on the expedition.

Although there are lots of grizzly bears, they tend to be quite timid when it comes to human contact and you are more likely to be injured falling ou
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Contact: Dr. Markus Eichhorn
markus.eichhorn@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-13214
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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