Innovating from the “South” – The Integration of Environmental Ethics and Ecological Science

TAPA RAD 23-1.JPGThe scientists and philosophers involved in the creation and implementation of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve are firmly committed to putting their research into practice. Part of this work involves the definition of the new trans-discipline of “biocultural conservation,” which requires overcoming significant challenges such as “translating” between academic disciplines, languages, cultures and ways of perceiving the world.

In this effort, Drs. Ricardo Rozzi and Francisca Massardo, as well as others from the CHBR, have been working for the past few years to create a seminal body of work that will serve as a foundation for environmental philosophy in Latin America and for biocultural conservation in general. Now a special edition of the journal Revista Ambiente y Desarrollo has publish these texts in Spanish and included commentaries from well-known thinkers from the realms of policy, ecology and philosophy from throughout the Americas and Europe. To learn more visit the CIPMA website, download the pdfs from the journal directly with the link above, or read the Introduction (in Spanish).

Cape Horn Research Highlighted in ESA Journal Cover Story and Podcast

coverApril2008.jpgDr. Ricardo Rozzi and colleagues’ article in the April edition of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment has already received attention in various news outlets.

Now, in addition to achieving the cover of this highly prestigious and widely distributed journal, Dr. Rozzi has been interviewed for an ESA podcast that highlights the journal’s most important publications.

The attention Rozzi and his colleagues bring to bear on the previously unrecognized biodiversity found in non-vascular flora in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve is used as an illustrative example of how cultural viewpoints (“lenses”) influence not only what we study and value, but what we chose to prioritize and conserve.

To learn more, visit ESA, read the article or listen to the podcast.

See local press in Radio Polar.

Biocultural Conservation: A “Trans”-Discipline

In March 2007, the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity and the Omora Ethnobotanical Park offered Latin America’s first graduate-level course on Biocultural Conservation, emphasizing the integration of environmental philosophy and ecology. Directed by Drs. Ricardo Rozzi, Juan Armesto and Christopher Anderson, the course was a demonstration of the “trans-disciplinary” nature of such efforts with students coming from throughout the Americas and also from diverse fields of inquiry, including psychology student Carolina Jiménez.

Now, Jiménez has published an article that details the utility of psychology for understanding biodiversity in developing countries. She takes a critical look at the lack of dissemination of knowledge generated by social psychology and the low degree of collaboration it has had to other fields of knowledge, especially conservation and environmental education. To see the article (in Spanish), which also takes lessons learned from the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, visit Psicólogos sin Fronteras.

Collaborative Research in the CHBR

leah.jpgSince 2007, Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Leah Dudley has been collaborating in the thesis of University of Magallanes student Ana María Caicheo, under the direction of Drs. Ricardo Rozzi and Francisca Massardo. In March, Ana María and Leah finished one of their final field expeditions as part of this innovative thesis that seeks to determine the role of insects in dispersing the spores of Tayloria mirabilis. The relationship of insects and non-vascular plants is a completely undeveloped field of inquiry in the Southern Hemisphere. This project is a collaborative effort between the IEB, UMAG and Omora with international associates from the University of Labrador, University of Connecticut and Cornell University and is a pioneering activity in the CHBR to determine the ecological role of the “miniature forests” of Cape Horn, which not only are some of the most diverse organisisms in the subantarctic biome, but could potentially also fulfill key ecological functions.

IEB-Omora Expand Outreach to Pre-schoolers

IMG_1063.JPGDuring 2008, the Omora Consortium has prioritized the formal and systematic inclusion of pre-school students and teachers in its outreach and training program. To that end, Omora Outreach Coordinator Paula Caballero and UMAG Masters Student Yanet Medina, under the supervision of Dr. Ricardo Rozzi, initiated a collaboration with Dr. Mirna Pizarro from the UMAG Education Department. In the coming year, Caballero and Medina will training UMAG students in the pre-school education program about the “miniature forests” of Cape Horn. Five of these undergrates will then conduct their theses in Puerto Williams with the public nursery school (JUNJI). In addition, the outreach program this year will also work with the regional JUNJI office to integrate environmental education material into the system’s pre-school curriculum.

OSARA Intern Publishes Seminal Work on the Fío-Fío

PB160205.JPGDuring her OSARA internship in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in 2007, Clare Brown worked long and hard to check and fix the Omora Park’s 8 year database of bird banding information, accumulated since 2000 by numerous field technicians and volunteers. She then helped put those data into a manuscript on the autecology and natural history of one of the subantarctic forest’s few long-distance migratory bird species: the fío-fío (Elaenia albiceps). Clare will now use the experience gained with OSARA to conduct a masters in environmental science at Evergreen State Univeristy.

To view the resulting paper, please visit the website of the Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia.

OSARA Proud of Alumni

chile - omora park 240.jpgOSARA is proud to report that the alumni of its first pilot study abroad program with the University of Georgia in 2005 have used there experience in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve to aspire to new heights. Of the four UGA undergraduate students who conducted their honors theses under the direction of OSARA President Dr. Christopher Anderson, besides winning various awards and scholarships for their theses, all are now in prestigious postgraduate programs, including: Brett Maley (M.S. Warnell School of Forest Resources – UGA), Amy Trice (M.S. Odum School of Ecology – UGA), Clayton Griffith (M.S. Urban and Regional Planning – Georgia Institute of Technology) and William Collier (M.S. Social Ecology of Conservation and Development – Yale University). Congratulations “lab pups”!

Peace Boat Visits Cape Horn

Peace Boat 037.jpgOn her 60th global voyage, the Peace Boat spent time navigating through the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (CHBR), leading the group’s organizers to want to learn about and donate to the Omora Park’s activities. So while at port in Punta Arenas, OSARA President Dr. Christopher Anderson and Omora assistants Cristóbal Pizarro and Paula Caballero prepared a series of talks and field trips that allowed participants to get a taste of the biocultural conservation initiative being pioneered in the CHBR. The Peace Boat is a Japan-based international, non-profit organization that works to promote peace, human rights, sustainable development and respect for the environment. To see more, go to the official website.

Research, Conservation Intersect at the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve

From UNT Research News Highlights >>>

Cape Horn.JPGUNT and the Chilean Institute for Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB) are using a 10-year, $15 million grant to build a high-tech field station in Chile’s Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve that will support researchers and students working to protect, preserve and sustain one of the last true wilderness areas in the world. <continue reading>

IEB Receives Prestigious Award in Ceremony with President Bachelet

bachelet fondos basales.jpgIn a public ceremony presided over by President Michelle Bachelet and Minister of Education Yansa Provoste, the Chilean Science Commission awarded the prestigious “Basal Financing” awards to the 8 institutions chosen as Centers of Scientific and Technical Excellence. The funding will provide 10 years of support and is part of Chile’s Innovation Program meant to promote development in key areas that will affect the nation’s future stability and wellbeing.

Dr. Mary Kalin received the award on behalf of the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, which was also represented by researchers Drs. Juan Armesto, Ricardo Rozzi, Pablo Marquet, Julio Gutiérrez and Andrés Mansilla who represent the IEB’s network of universities, including the Catholic University, the University of Chile, the University of Magallanes, the University of La Serena and the University of Concepción. Part of the new funds will also be used to implement a national network of socio-ecological research sites, taking advantage of the IEB’s 3 existing study sites in the Omora Park-Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Senda Darwin Biological Station and Fray Jorge National Park.

To see an article in Spanish, visit the CONICYT site.

Vassar Environmental Research Institute to Support OSARA Course

Emily Vail, an undergraduate student at Vassar College, will receive a Summer Travel Fellowship from the Vassar Environmental Research Institute to attend the OSARA field course Biocultural Conservation in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in December 2008. The $5,000 grant, co-written with OSARA, will permit Ms. Vail to participate in this 2 week, intensive program being developed together with the University of North Texas’ Chile Program Office. For more information check out the course page.