Assist researchers in collecting data on water quality and land use in an ancient agricultural ecosystem within the lush wetlands of Xochimilco.

The Xochimilco wetlands, located just south of Mexico City, help to filter water, regulate weather, protect against storms, support clean air, and protect native species of flora and fauna in Mexico City and neighbouring regions. This water system also forms a unique ecosystem for aquatic species, including native species such as the Mexican Axolotl salamander and the Acocil crayfish, as well as over 140 species of migrating birds.

But these wetlands are being threatened by changing agricultural practices which have turned from traditional small scale farming (a practice that has been around for at least six centuries) to environmentally-intensive agriculture. Not only that, the introduction of exotic species such as carp and tilapia has altered the natural food chain, threatening endemic species.

Conservation of native plants and animals in Xochimilco is strongly linked to the preservation of its wetlands as well as “chinampas” - areas of dry land within the wetlands that support traditional agriculture.

Researchers are looking to understand how land use, agricultural techniques, and seasonality affect the conditions around the chinampas. You’ll help to gather critical data on the presence of endemic species and water and soil quality around the chinampas. This data will be used to increase local awareness of the benefits of traditional agriculture and subsequently, improve ecosystem health.

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Location

Xochimilco, Mexico

Cost

$2995

Includes all accommodation, meals, transfers, insurance and research activities

Duration

7 days

2020 Dates

  • 15 March
  • 19 July
  • 30 August
  • 27 September
  • 18 October

Activity Level

Easy

Lead Scientist

Claudia Ponce de Leon