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UB ERI Staff Lead Teaching of Forest Ecology and Management Field Course

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Dr. Elma Kay, ERI’s Administrative Director and Science Director (Terrestrial), with the assistance of ERI’s Darwin Botanist, German Lopez and Eduardo Barrientos, Field Technician in the Science Department, recently taught the annual Tropical Forest Ecology and Management Field Course for the Bachelor Natural Resource Management students of UB. The course held from February 13th to March 9th focused on the management of these ecosystems within the context of their ecology. The course also covered topics in forest policy, legislation and sustainable financing, and through guest lectures and discussions students explored opportunities and constraints for forest management in Belize.

This year, Dr. Kay along with her class of 11 students visited 2 plantations. The first was Mr. Paul Martin’s teak plantation in Roaring Creek Village. The other was Mr. Amin Bedran’s teak, palo blanco and may flower plantations.

In the second and final week of the course the class had a field trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge where students surveyed and compared tree diversity in lowland versus upland areas, dug soil pits to compare physical and chemical features of soils in savannah versus broadleaf forests and visited pine logging and management operations within the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The class also visited the sawmill and logging site in Gallon Jug.

This year the course featured several guest speakers including: Mr. Guillermo Detlefsen of “Centro Agronomico Tropical de Investigacion y Ensenanza” (CATIE) who spoke about agro-forestry systems in Belize, Mr. Alejandro Martinez of The Nature Conservancy whose presentation was focused on sustainable financing, the Forest Department’s Leon Westby who spoke about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), and Mr. Ramon Pacheco of Program For Belize who spoke on sustainable logging in the Rio Bravo Management and Conservation Area

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Other UB student courses taught by ERI staff include the Wildlife Management course co-taught by Dr. Bart Harmsen, ERI Wildlife Fellow and Dr. Rebecca Foster of ERI’s partner organization, Panthera, and the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management course currently underway and taught by Dr. Leandra Cho-Ricketts, ERI’s Marine Science Director.

View more photos of this course at:

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