Chapter Report

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AKKA SEEDS at University of Puerto Rico – Rio Piedras

 

Chapter Information

 

Advisor Information

  • Elvia Melendez, Proffesor
  • Email: elmelend@gmail.com

 

Chapter Activities

 

A descriptive summary of each of the major Chapter activities (seminars/workshops, field trips, fundraisers, outreach/community service, etc.) during the past academic year. The activity, the timeframe, and the persons involved (Chapter members, campus, school students, community, etc.). People who were included and served, and how many.

AKKA SEEDS started and ethnobotany workshop/conference in September 13, 2012, offered by the biologist professor Gladys Nazario, that attracted a new generation of members. After that renewal, there were many activities in the first semester that included workshops of seed bombs, germinated seeds, scented candles and a bio cultural conservation conference offered by Betsabe Castro and with the assistance mainly of AKKA SEEDS members. We participated as young citizens in an agricultural debate in period of Puerto Rican elections to gain sense of the agricultural policy. Come Christmas, we collaborated in an activity with the Natural Science Faculty with two other environmental organizations. We contributed with an informative table of research opportunities at the university and a seminar on how to apply to summer internships. At the end of the semester, a field trip was organized to learn about cave ecology where we had a blast of fun.
For the second semester, AKKA SEEDS turned its attention toward research and community outreach. We began the first invasive species awareness week at the university in March 5 to spread ecological knowledge of invasive trees in Puerto Rico. The children from local schools captured our attention in two activities that we helped. One contribution was with the astronaut Joseph Acaba and another in the Sustainable Campus activity with ecosystems of recycle materials. The only conference we organized for this semester was with our mentor, Elvia Melendez, to learn more of concepts of sustainability.
Most our efforts in the last semester were focused on the research in association with GAIA, Kansas Chapter, and Colibri Sanfiorenzo. For this event 10 chapter members went to a Symposium of Research, Interpretation and Education in Forest to obtain more knowledge of this ecosystem. A workshop in the Botanic Garden of Rio Piedras was organized with the participation of 10 members to learn of forest techniques and identification of trees. Our research was done with 12 members, 2 graduate students of Environmental Science and Colibri in the forest of the Northeast Ecological Reserve of Puerto Rico by plotting and identifying tree diversity. We would like to acknowledge CATEC (Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation) and NRCT (Natural Resource Career Track) for the funds that made this research possible. The week of May 20-May 23 was really special moment for AKKA SEEDS to unify more as a chapter.
Overall these activities gave us an understanding of the things that can be done with the diverse world of ecology. An objective that was achieved was the AKKA SEEDS’s members representation in SEEDS activities of the last year. For example, Kiara Medina, Betsabe Castro, Stella Gonzalez and Victor Reyes attended to the ESA meeting in Oregon. Also, Stella Gonzalez was accepted to the ESA SEEDS fieldtrip at Cedar Creek, Minnesota. Our active members with their interests made AKKA SEEDS grow and strengthen. We reached our goals of this year with a lot of successful events and an enthusiastic directive for the next year!

What best describes the activities of your chapter this past academic year?

Chapter Invigoration/Recruitment, Community Outreach, Field Trips, Research, Professional Conferences and/or Meetings

A summary of the Chapter’s ideas or plans for the next academic year.

ACTIVITIES
Fund raising
Campus flora walking tour
A fieldtrip to the Northeastern Ecological Corridor
AKKA Seeds Initiation
A field trip to Tanamá sponsored by Explora
Bohemia Night at Natural Science, Chapter information table.
Planet Earth Hour
Investigation at Corredor Ecológico (Assisting Research efforts in the Northeastern ecological corridor)
Invasive species week- activity table
Community Work with middle schools/ Community Garden
Tinglar Excursion – Field trip to Northeastern ecological corridor
WORKSHOP
How to make and spread Seeds Bombs – Creation of Seed Bombs
Green infrastructure around the faculty – adopt an area
Edible sprout workshop
Terrarium and controlled environment creation workshop
Enviromental Photography
TALKS
Leadership – by Dr. Angel Rivera
Community Garden by AUF
How to make a CV
How to make a paper – Scientific writing and communication.
Forest Symposium, Bosque Santa Ana