Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Award 2017
Dr Billy C H HAU, School of Biological Sciences, and team members (the seventh fr the left)
Project: ‘Global Forest Observatory: Public Involvement and Training in Scientific Research in Hong Kong’
"Field based education is the key to influencing people to protect nature!”
The project forms the first and only Hong Kong inputs to a global forest research network of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). A 20-ha forest observatory plot was set up in Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve. Over 80,000 trees of 172 species in the plot were surveyed. Data from this plot has been added to the big data of over 6 million trees and 10,000 species in the global network of 63 plots in 24 countries. This 20-ha forest plot and its database have so far contributed to the studies of other researchers in The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sun Yat-Sen University, the National University of Singapore, Utah State University, the University of Florida - Gainesville and STRI.
A 1-ha forest plot was set up on the hillside above the Kadoorie Centre of HKU at Shek Kong, the New Territories. This plot served as a training ground for citizen volunteers, corporate members, NGO leaders, journalists, school teachers as well as students at all levels to learn about climate change, forest biodiversity and sustainability issues. Over 2,000 individuals were directly trained and engaged between 2011 and 2015. In return, some of the trained participants served as volunteer researchers to help survey the 20-ha plot. Training packages that the project team prepared were endorsed by the HKSARG Education Bureau and some teachers are now using the materials for on-going teaching in Biology, Liberal Studies and Geography.