Listen to these oak nerds tell the origin story of the American oaks and why they are such a cool lineage to study!
In collaboration with colleagues at the Morton Arboretum and across Mexico, including at UNAM in Morelia, we have helped to launch a new professional network of botanists and conservationists from across North and Central America. Oaks of the Americas Conservation Network (OACN) is a consortium of experts from universities, botanical gardens, arboreta, industry, conservation NGOs, and government agencies dedicated to protecting threatened oak species from extinction. OACN was conceived at the International Workshop on Oak Conservation (March 2016), where 50 experts from seven countries convened at the Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores at UNAM in Morelia, Mexico.
Training students in Central America and Mexico
"Aprender haciendo": Our team has engaged over 200 Latin American students at the panamerican University of Zamorano in Honduras through the “Learning by Doing” program and the NSF funded LOARD (Live Oak Adaptation to Drought) project. Through this program, our team has given multiple hands-on lectures (in Spanish) to undergraduates at the University of Zamorano about climate change impacts on plants and the biosphere, the methods involved in the scientific project they are participating in, and an in-depth tour of the physiological equipment we use.
Through NSF LOARD, our research team is engaging undergraduates from UNED (Universidad Estatal a Distancia) in Liberia Costa Rica in scientific education and direct participation in our common garden experiments in Guanacaste.
Proyecto Encinos: With collaborator Antonio Gonzalez-Rodriguez, we have been conducting a student exchange between the University of Minnesota and the INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN ECOSISTEMAS Y SUSTENTABILIDAD at UNAM in Morelia over the past seven years. The program has received institutional funding from both universities and through the NSF New World Oak project. Together with Patricia Balvanera at IIES-UNAM and several other institutions, we co-teach a graduate level, cross-cultural sustainability science seminar.