Chapter Report

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If you have any relevant Chapter photos or other documents (<2MB) that you would like to add to your report, please send them to seeds@esa.org. Any relevant Chapter materials that cannot be sent electronically (printed brochures, flyers, etc.) may be mailed to: SEEDS Campus Ecology Chapters; Ecological Society of America; 1990 M Street NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036 or faxed to: 202-833-8775.


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Eos SEEDS UPRH at University of Puerto Rico – Humacao

 

Chapter Information

 

Advisor Information

  • Denny Fernández del Viso, Chapter Advisor
  • Email: dsfernandez@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.

Our chapter’s main focus this year was to enhance career and summer/fall opportunities to the members of our chapter and to expand our network to local and national environmental agencies; that is agencies that promote education in ecology and environmental protection. In addition, we wanted to enhance diversity in our chapter by promoting the participation of students in other faculties so they can explore ecology to their fields of interest. To begin our semester, during the Bioscience Week we gave the opportunity to our members that went on summer or fall internships or REU’s to present their work at the 2nd Annual Internship Student Forum where students did 15-minute oral presentations to the campus community organized by Natalia López. Likewise, during this week we had an open house from the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative (CLCC), promoting different conservation projects held in Puerto Rico to our students. Furthermore, we had a workshop on aquaculture and coral reef conservation with the Marine Environment Society, which also possesses projects in different parts of the island in which our students were encouraged to take part on. To help build audience for our community garden and to create awareness about the protection of endemic plant species of the island. Our students Carlos Zayas and Efraín Martínez took the initiative on an activity called “Listen to the Lorax©: Let it Grow!” which involved planting seeds of different species of endangered and endemic trees around the UPR Humacao Campus. This activity was more directed towards the community that surrounds the campus. We had the participation of student members and community neighbors from all ages, from 3 to 37! Moreover, as part of our goals last year was to participate in the International beach clean up and we did, along with 5 more student associations of the UPR Humacao. Among other activities we had: a talk about USDA-Forrest Service FIA program for undergraduate and graduate students, our community garden project which is highly active, R statistical program workshops in which our students got a certificate from, and finally, a workshop on aquaponics.

In addition, our students conducted this year’s Bio Blitz surveys! We had the Reptile & Amphibians survey by Alejandro Santana, Plants Survey by Alichy Ubiles, Arthropod survey by Billy Santiago, 2nd Annual Save the Frogs day! featuring a special project from our alumni Billy Santiago called “Salvemos a los Coquíes”, a Morning Bird Count by Billy Santiago and Fungi & Lichen survey by our professor, Wanda Rodríguez. In addition to our surveys, we had a diversity of activities held during the BioBlitz such as: two documentaries (Ecología de Cuevas by AKKA SEEDS and Veggucated), a panel between the members on vegetarianism and sustainability by our member Yashira Cruz, how to preserve algae to build a herbarium by our members Jeileen Luciano, Nicole Fuentes, Loraine Martell and Natalia López in which our students worked on a live specimen, a presentation on compost and a tour from our community garden by our member Efraín Martínez where our participants had the chance to try our garden’s harvest and finally, our original natural selection hopscotch where our students learned a new way of applying evolutionary concepts at a very simple learning level. Even though we didn’t surpass last year’s number of participants as we usually do, we had around 38 participants and it was the most complete BioBlitz in the history of Eos.

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

Chapter Invigoration/Recruitment, Community Outreach, Environmental Stewardship, K12 Classroom Education, Career Development, Professional Conferences and/or Meetings, Other

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

 Biology Department Student Poster Exposition – During this activity, students from the University of Puerto Rico, Humacao Campus that has participated of REU or any other research opportunity will be able to present their work with posters. This activity was done during the academic year 2011-2012. Since this past year 2012-2013 we couldn’t do it, the expectations lie in being able to expanding the activity by having a poster presentation at the natural sciences department during two days and adding oral presentations with undergrad and alumni.
 3rd Annual Internship Student Forum – Students that had experienced what an internship is, will make 15 minute presentations, explaining their research focus and experience. This activity’s main focus lies in encouraging more students to apply for this kind of opportunities.
 Community Garden Maintenance Workshops – This activity will be done with Club 4H and the Gurabo Experimental Station staff. They will work with our students, teaching them techniques on how to have better crops, making good compost and maintaining our community garden. This year, we want to expand our range of volunteers, inviting students from other departments. Therefore, it is really important that they understand how harvesting works and develop a genuine appreciation for the project. This will be an introductory part to their volunteering experience.
 Once a month outreach initiatives – For the passed years our chapter has done a few outreach activities along the sides of the biology department’s students associations each semester. This year, the goal is to establish a quota of one activity per month. We understand outreach is a great part in the shaping of the future leaders of ecology and therefore want to make it more of a priority. It will both be beneficial to the students being impacted and our chapter students, which will be gaining experience and developing other leadership skills.