Studying the survival techniques of caterpillars in Costa Rica and the habits of land crabs in Trinidad may not be everyone's cup of tea. But they are among projects that will shortly excite 13 Scottish teachers and education officers.
The group have been chosen for an Earthwatch Millennium Fellowship and will visit environmental projects around the world. The Trinidad land crabs, an important part of the rain forest's freshwater ecosystem, are the chosen subject for Stephanie Walker, education officer at Boghall Country Centre, a Scottish Agricultural College project situated outside Edinburgh. She intends to develop an organic garden with community groups on her return.
Amanda McDade, a science teacher at Holy Rood High in Edinburgh, will use her experience of Costa Rican caterpillars to develop resources for environmental courses. The forests of Ontario will be the inspiration for Jo Hobbet, education development officer at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, while Tess Darwin, community development officer for the Edinburgh Greenbelt Trust, will join villagers reforesting local clearances.
Earthwatch is an international science and education charity which sponsors environmental and cultural field projects. A total of 550 educators are expected to take part in the fellowship scheme, which has been funded by the Millennium Commission and Royal Sun Alliance in a rolling programme lasting until 2000.