William Roche’s Diary
Mountain Waters of the Czech Republic

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June 4, 2009: Habitat restoration, Alcoa style

Josef monitors the adverse weather. He quietly explains that it is best that we work at the Pension (Czech for our accommodation) today and sort samples (includes tweezers work) and record and complete data entry. I must admit that there are some groans about the tedious work ahead (me included). However we soon learn how to identify and separate samples quickly, and the mood improves. By evening we are very proficient and out of work ... it's all done! 
As part of the routine evening debrief, Josef invites us to make a presentation about our background. I am first up and talk about my life in Australia and Alcoa. I show a mixture of photos, videos, and text (thanks to Rod Mapstone, Alcoa Kwinana Communications, for assisting me to prepare this prior to my trip). I highlight the environmental rehabilitation program in our Alcoa mining area. I answer as many questions as possible. The question of what works best: replanting introduced or local species, is a big one. I don't have a precise answer. I do say that from my personal experience and perspective, the mining environmental team are a bunch of people who are passionate about what they do and I will enquire and email the answer. I briefly mention the Kwinana Technology Development Group (TDG) and am pleasantly surprised with questions about this group's global work and current projects. We have a competition at the end and all win prizes. Another long day finishes well and bed is most welcome.

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