THE IN SITU LABORATORY INITIATIVE
Building local capacity to monitor wildlife health and biodiversity globally
Decentralized and Community Driven
The In Situ Lab Initiative has a democratic architecture that is based on a network of hubs. Each hub is a node in a network of decentralised laboratories, and consists of hubs connected upwards to urban established laboratories, and downwards to satellite or mobile laboratories. Together, the network dramatically increases the availability of laboratory services targeted to wildlife and the environment, in a particular region.
What makes a good laboratory hub?
ISL Initiative hubs are/will be located anywhere from remote field stations without road access or electricity, to a town without without prior laboratory access, but established energy and infrastructure supplies. All of them however, have to consider several factors to ensure smooth operability and equitable access. A good hub needs:
The Well Planned Hub
comes equipped with significant advantages
Adding or upgrading laboratory space can radically expand opportunities to study, record, describe and analyze information locked into biosamples. Bringing a laboratory to a geographic location where there has never been a laboratory can also impact local communities.
Not only do biosamples provide a hitherto inaccessible perspective on wildlife biology, but they can also influence population monitoring. For example, if genotyping a fecal sample to identify its producer is possible, then samples without known producers can be collected opportunistically, reducing the amount of time spent watching animals waiting for samples to be produced.
Not only does an ISL lab provide people with access to infrastructure and equipment, but it reduces and even eliminates the need for biosamples to be exported to foreign countries for analysis. Therefore, the exportation of opportunity - to participate in sample analysis and not only sample collection - can be eliminated with a well-planned hub.