The US National Science Foundation recently awarded a major grant to Virginia Tech University, Advanced Conservation Strategies and OSARA to conduct a social-ecological research project in Tierra del Fuego during the coming two years. The project, entitled Ecology, Culture & Outcomes: Linking Human Perceptions & Socio-Ecological Thresholds for Ecosystem Restoration (ECO-Link) brings together US researchers with Argentine and Chilean colleagues from academic, NGO, and governmental institutions to determine whether a current lack of participation in ecosystem management initiatives by landowners is influenced by a broken incentive structure that does not account for feedbacks between underlying social perceptions and ecosystem service delivery. Studying efforts to control invasive beavers and subsequently reforest riparian zones on Tierra del Fuego Island, we hypothesize that the thresholds that separate inaction from action in conservation can be overcome by explicitly integrating social and ecological understanding into the design of effective incentives. The link is currently seeking to hire a postdoctoral fellow and a master’s student. More information on MS position can be obtained by contacting Co-PI Dr. Michael Sorice. For notification when the postdoctoral advertisement is posted, contact PI Dr. Christopher Anderson, the project’s lead investigator.
From 6-10 August, the Argentine National Patagonia Center (CENPAT for its acronym in Spanish) hosted the 3rd “Young Patagonia Conservation Leaders” Meeting in Puerto Madryn. Participants came from throughout Patagonia and were invited specifically based on their efforts in marine conservation. Workshops held during the week-long event focused on leadership development with specific courses on interpersonal communication and project design and evaluation. An outgrown of these training initiatives, led by Dr. Alexandra Sapoznikow, is the creation of a new Patagonia-wide emerging leaders network that is meant to help those interested in promoting conservation obtain the networking and professional skills necessary to influence not only research but policy and sustainability outcomes. During these meetings, OSARA President Dr. Christopher Anderson was asked to give a talk at CENPAT on Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Sites: Conceptual Foundations and Projections in Argentina, which is part of the information recently published in English and Spanish in the August edition of Austral Ecology. Dr. Anderson led a team of 17 co-authors from Chile, Argentina and the US in an effort to establish a joint agenda on LTSER in the Southern Cone.
The Argentine Ecological Association (AsAE for its acronym in Spanish) will carry out its 25th annual meeting from 24-28 September in the city of Lujan. This year’s meeting coincides with the 40th anniversary of AsAE and is dedicated to “where we’ve come from; where we’re going”. OSARA has officially sponsored this meeting, specifically providing financial support for relevant symposia and activities related to our mission to promote research, education and conservation in southern Patagonia. To learn more visit the official website.