Ecological research can be an equipment-intensive enterprise. You get excited about the fun science-y bits of a project and forget that without things like beakers, growth chambers, duct tape, vacuum pumps and electrical generators there can be no project… So you have to get practical and figure out how to get all those things (and many more) to a tiny village in the middle of Siberia that can only be accessed by an hour-long boat ride. This is where CRDF global comes in.
CRDF Global is an interntional non-profit organization dedicated to making cross-border scientific collaborations a reality by providing grants, logistical support and training to American and international scientists. A service that has been extremely helpful for us is CRDF Solutions FOCUS: CRDF takes care of issues like finding equipment vendors in Russia, negotiating the best price, and transferring payment funds to the vendors. They also arrange the delivery of the items we need to the Pislegins, our hard-working project coordinators in Russia. So instead of calling 5 different lab glassware suppliers in Russia to see if they have 500 ml graduated cylinders in stock we can think about the experiments that those graduated cylinders will be used in.