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The Biowander Project — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Dr. Geiger,

    I’ve looked at your articles and resources for years. They inspired my interest in sustainable building and helped inspire sustainable field research stations. Thank you so much for posting the project to Natural Building Blog. I’m truly grateful and it was a colossal surprise to see your name as the person who posted! I hope very much for a successful project.

    My wife and I were traveling in Belize a number of years ago and we encountered a professor and 20 marine biologist graduate students who were studying sea turtles and reef conditions. They were staying in Gales Point and commuting two and half hours to the reef by boat. The hotel was fairly run down and the cost to house 20 students for two weeks was financially crippling. The professor said this would be his last trip to Belize, he couldn’t afford it and there was no adequate accommodation. They were being charged $55 per head for the roundtrip boat ride everyday, averaging $25 per meal and spending $75 per night per hotel room for 21 people, for small, one bedroom rooms with no phone, no television, no internet, poor electrical service, gaping holes in the screens and one dim lamp to light the room. Mosquito bitten, stranded and bored to death, the whole group was pretty well downtrodden. He said they’d been harassed by customs about their equipment coming into the country, had no way to get samples home to the United States and the study had become more trouble than it was worth. So I started thinking about having a network of remote field research institutes, with research labs stocked with specific scientific equipment, with affordable, expectation exceeding accommodation and making the whole station sustainable and reliant on renewable energy. This concept could have reduced shipping, accommodation and bureaucracy costs for the professor and his students and allowed their studies to continue comfortably. The idea morphed into the Biowander Project and I’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign to help get started.

    My grandmother loved nature and especially birds. What ailed her the most was the idea that people no longer knew a rock or a bird or a plant and had completely lost touch with the natural world. When she died she left two tracts of land to my family and I want to conserve them in a way that also teaches people about sustainability, science and nature. My grandfather loved plants, but made the mistake once of planting bamboo on their property, so there is a rather large, natural source of local, sustainable bamboo on site. I want to use earthbag construction coupled with sustainable bamboo framing, cob and site sourced stone to create the necessary structures for researchers and guests. I want to incorporate sustainable systems, such as underground cooling and heat towers and I want to seek permits for new innovations in artificial wetland water recycling to make the entire Biowander 100% sustainable, or as close as is feasible with current technologies and codes. That’s my goal. That’s what I want to do with my life and with my grandmother’s cherished properties. I hope there will be people out there who believe this is a worthy project and who will contribute a few dollars to help me get started.

    Thank you, again, so much for posting my project. It really means a lot to me. I’ve had a hard time getting word out. If anyone has questions, comments or suggestions to make the project better, I welcome them.

    http://igg.me/at/BiowanderProject

    -Adam
    John Adam Barwood
    jbarwood -AT- gmail *dot* com

    • Thanks for contributing, Adam. It’s a great idea. The main thing I have to say is projects like these usually take a LONG time to develop — probably years. Just keep working on it and someday the pieces will come together.

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