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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Sava, Kranj, Slovenia

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Sava, Kranj, Slovenia

MistySmith



Registered: December 2013
City/Town/Province: Kranj
Posts: 1
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I come from a family of nature enthusiasts, which has influenced me from an early age. There was always someone you could borrow a microscope from or ask for advice. My parents have always encouraged me in exploring the natural environment, it being national parks, hundred-years-old trees or amphibians in the vicinity of a nearby river. My love for nature has been only intensified over the years, joining UNESCO club in elementary school and later competing in biological and chemical competitions on national level. I also loved the scouts and their natural, ecological and cleaning actions. Love of nature inspired me to complete the advanced scuba diving test, making me liable to participate in cleaning actions in the seas or rivers) and participate in a research project at the National Institute for Chemistry. I have recently also became the leader in another research project in which we are testing the water from different regions of Slovenia for biological and chemical factors and pollution.
Although I have been attending ecological actions on city level (Letís clean Kranj!) and national level (Letís clean Slovenia!, a day without the car, An hour without electricityÖ) for years, the Apprentice Ecologist project finally gave me the courage and determination to take the reins in my hands and as the initiator and leader organize an ecological project that will help both the environment, living and inanimate nature and my community.
In my free time I like to go for a walk in the area of a nearby river, which is home to many animal and plant species. The area is a real treasure trove of diversity and knowledge, and inspires generations of prospective scientists, researchers, naturalists and ecologists. It is not only a home to many reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects, but also to inanimate nature: a wide variety of trees, grasses, algae, lichens, fungi and other priceless species. Unfortunately, the area is becoming increasingly polluted and more and more species are disappearing. Pollution has the greatest impact on the frogs in the area (due to their thin and moist skin that allows the exchange of substances with the environment amphibians are particularly sensitive to pollution), which are considered an endangered species, and had lacked appropriate standing water for disposal of spawn even before the pollution began.
My project consisted of two parts: cleanup of the surroundings and providing a suitable environment for the deposition of spawn for frogs. The first part of the project, cleanup of the surroundings, called primarily for good organization of volunteers and time. We deployed to the area surrounding the river in order to sufficiently purify it. This was not only important for the conservation of flora and fauna, but we also wanted to make the area into a good learning environment for young ecologists, where they could admire the wonders of nature and learned to appreciate them. One can now often see a grandmother with a little boy enchanted staring at a bird standing on a rock in the middle of the river or the river, or scouts who enthusiastically collect water samples or observe grasshoppers on the meadow. The second part of the project was to provide an appropriate environment for the deposition of spawn for frogs. For this purpose we cleaned and emptied part of our garden and draw a plan to turn it into a small ''lake'', unpolluted standing water, where frogs would be laying their descendants. Through hard work, we then created this lake which is now covered with similar vegetation as the nearby river and covered with a mesh wire to allow access to frogs, but not larger predators, which prey on frogs.
Not long after the start of the breeding season our efforts were awarded with first spawn, from which little frogs developed under our watchful eye. Therefore, the pond doesnít only provide a shelter for frogs, but also gives us an opportunity to carefully observe the reproductive cycle and development of young frogs.
It is immensely important to maintain different species, for each one of them has its meaning and place in the world. Ecology teaches us that different species and biotic communities are inextricably linked to each other and that the destruction of one can have a major impact on all the others. Also, different types have a significant impact on people. It is extremely sad to see how we are poisoning our own planet because of simple ignorance and laziness. Instead of being amazed by nature and its complexity like little children are, we are on the path to destroy something so valuable and enriching for our lives. There are so many wanders hiding in the natural environment, wanders that could change our lives for the better, if only we are willing to make the effort.
The Apprentice Ecologist project was unbelievingly helpful in changing my life. It didnít just give me meaningful knowledge, but also filled me with a sense of pride and achievement and left me believing that I can, indeed, make a difference for myself, my community and the natural environment. This awareness made me stronger and gave me the strength to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a biologist, giving me a chance to study the nature that so astonishes me.
We are all responsible for the environment and the loss of any animal or plant species is also a no recoverable loss for the planet and for us, as we are is closely linked to our environment.


END OF ESSAY


*I am currently unable to provide a photo of the project due to higher power, but I would be happy to do so when my project comes back to life in spring.
Date: December 26, 2013 ∑ Views: 1862 ∑ File size: 37.6kb ∑ : 350 x 263 ∑
Hours Volunteered: 100
Volunteers: 4
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 15 to 50
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