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RIA and the Clare Island Survey

The New Survey of Clare Island is a unique multidisciplinary project, the overall aim being to assess the environmental changes that have taken place over the last hundred years on this island off the west coast of Ireland.

This island was the subject of a major Biological Survey in 1909-11, under the direction of Robert Lloyd Praeger, later President of the Royal Irish Academy. The data collected represents the most comprehensive inventory of nature and habitation in a single geographical location during the early part of the century, and made Clare Island a unique site for further study.

The New Survey of Clare Island was commissioned in 1991 to revisit the island with the overall aim of assessing the changes to the environment and life on the island and make comparisons between results today and data generated from the original survey.

The New Survey is divided into five Sections:

  1. Archaeology
  2. History and Culture
  3. Botany
  4. Geology
  5. Zoology

To date over 100 fieldworkers, from the North and South of Ireland and abroad, have collaborated on the Survey.

Please visit (http://www.ria.ie/Research/NSCI.aspx) for more information on the RIA and the Clare Island Survey.

As part of Go Explore Hostel we are developing the Praeger Education Center, which over time we intend creating an interpretive centre for the works of the RIA and the Clare Island Survey.