Figure 1: Socotra Field Research Station (FRS)
Figure 2: HE the Chairman of EPA Yemen, Eng. Mahmoud Shidiwa and the General Director of Senckenberg Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Volker Mosbrugger during the signature ceremony at the Senckenberg Institute on 6th of May 2010
Figure 3: Dormitory House, FRS Socotra
Figure 4: Science Building, FRS Socotra
Figure 5: Double Cabin pick-up truck
Field Research Station Socotra, Hadiboh
The main platform for the research activities of the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre Frankfurt (BiK-F) on Socotra is the BiK-F Field Research Station in Hadiboh (FRS) (Fig. 1). The establishment started in March 2009 and was finished in December 2010. It is situated in the very east of Hadiboh City, some 100 m away from the shore and the ring road, providing easy access to sea water and the road system. As all activities of BiK-F in general, the FRS is part and parcel of the Framework Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the EPA and MoWE Yemen and the Memorandum of Agreement between the EPA Socotra, MoWE and BiK-F/SFN (Fig. 2). It is open to collaborators of EPA. Researchers of International and Yemeni institutions are admitted for joint study and research or as guests upon request on a cost-recovery base. So far it has been used by the University of Gent, the University of Tübingen and the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh as well as several Yemeni ministries.
The Field Research Station consists of two buildings: the Dormitory House (Fig. 3) provides 3-4 sleeping rooms, accommodating 6-8 people comfortably and community facilities including a small living room, bathrooms and a kitchen. The new Science Building (Fig. 4) contains an office, a wet and sorting lab and a store room for field equipment and diving gear. The office is equipped with several workplaces, a permanently installed computer with internet connection, meeting space, microscopy work spaces and a small library. In order to offer good working conditions also during the very hot and humid summer season, the office is air conditioned.
The collected specimens can be treated in the wet lab. This room is well ventilated and has several sinks installed, serving the handling, washing, sorting and storage of collected specimens, e.g. the fixation with formol or ethanol.
Close by is the compressor room and the store room where the diving and field equipment is stored and prepared. A ramp allows direct loading and unloading of a car from the street into the station and optimizes the infrastructure. Since SCUBA-diving is elementary for marine research, the station is equipped with two breathing air compressors, dive tanks, multiple sets of diving equipment, and various under water survey equipment.
The daily operation is supported by 2000l water tanks and a generator which is strong enough to provide the full power needed in the station, ensuring supply also at times of heavy duty and unreliable public water and electricity supply. A total of three bath rooms and an outside shower provide proper and sufficient hygienic facilities also for larger teams. A 4WD Toyota Double Cabin pick-up truck takes the teams to the field.
The station has two terraces to sit and work under open sky and a small garden. The BiK-F FRS in Hadiboh was planned as a place offering decent working as well as living conditions for the BiK-F and EPA research team working on Socotra.