UNT student Catalina Hungerford and Dr. Ricardo Rozzi recently received the award for “best student poster” at the 11th International Congress of Ethnobiology, held from 25 to 30 June 2008 in Cuzco, Peru. The poster, entitled Biological and cultural diversity in the forests of southern Chile: Biocultural verses in Pablo Neruda and Lorenzo Aillapan’s love poetry, is one more example of the biocultural research and conservation initiatives being pioneered in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. In addition, Ximena Arango and Tomas Ibarra traveled to Cuzco to present their work on the implementation of a charismatic flagship species and the cultural landscape of Cape Horn, respectively.
Based on the positive experience in January 2008, the organizers of the Peace Boat have requested that representatives of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve collaborate again in their 2009 voyage to explain the biocultural conservation initiative taking place in the subantarctic archipelago. To learn more, read the article written about the previous visit to Punta Arenas.
OSARA was awarded recently a grant from the US Embassy in Chile to help consolidate the consortium of organizations working in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. The support will help bring the Vice-president for Global Programs of the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) to Chile in October to advise the creation of OSARA as a broader and stronger alliance of US and Chilean organizations. OTS, founded 45 years ago, has become a leader in tropical research and brings together the efforts of 60 institutions on 4 continents to realize this work, making them an ideal partner in our effort.
In December 2007, the BBC adventure series Serious Ocean filmed during a month-long navigation by boat in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. The 10 part program premiered on 16 June 2008 in London amid much fan fare. The 8 young adventurers from 13-15 participated in numerous conservation projects throughout the archipelago, including tagging elephant seals and trapping beavers. The program will air in the U.K. and United States and bring the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve to millions of homes in the coming year. For the text version of a news clip with Dr. Christopher Anderson that appeared on national television, visit the following link.
The journal Nature, the world’s leading scientific periodical, recently published a piece on the proposed control/eradication program for beavers in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. The article now has sparked broader interest, and currently the German magazine Der Spiegel is preparing an article. The articles cite OSARA President Christopher Anderson, who has advised and reviewed the projects and proposals. While acknowledging the challenges and difficulties of such an initiative, Dr. Anderson is quoted as saying “invasive species are an extremely important subject in Cape Horn, which is one of the world’s last wilderness areas. While it may not be feasible to eradicate beavers, it is certainly technically possible, as they were nearly exterminated in North American in the 1800s.” Anderson goes on to point out that “even if it is not possible to completely eliminate problem species in the archipelago, we will learn a great deal our our natural resources by working on binational (Chile and Argentina) conservation programs.” Click here to read the article in Nature.
Coordinated by OSARA since 2006, the most recent iteration of Tracing Darwin’s Path, held in June 2008, for the first time brought together students from the University of Magallanes, the University of North Texas, the University of La Serena and a staff person from the U.S. Embassy in Chile. Course instructors Dr. Christopher Anderson (ecologist-OSARA) and Dr. Britt Hollbrook (philsopher-UNT) designed the class to provide students with a direct experience of not just studying biocultural conservation, but seeing how our international and interdisciplinary alliance is successfully putting ideas into practice through the implementation of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve. Previous versions of the field course have focused on nature writing (2006) and ethnoecology (2007), and the upcoming version (December 2008) will revolve around the theme of “watersheds” – their use, ecology, philosophy and conservation. Students taking part in the experience include such diverse majors as anthropology, journalism, philosophy, psychology, biology, sociology and international relations. To see videos from the course, visit OSARA’s YouTube site.