Conservation Leadership Through Learning Cohort 2 Update
During their time in Chiapas, the students participated in bilingual Spanish classes focused on conservation and sustainable development issues in Mexico. The international classes were offered through ECOSUR University, which partners with CLTL. With the partnerships, students earn a dual degree: one from CSU and one from ECOSUR.
During their semester abroad, students worked in five theses groups in collaboration with local nonprofit and government organizations as well as local communities. The Mexican-based partners help determine the most pressing issues facing the region to which students can make a meaningful contribution.
This year the thesis projects focused on the following topics:1. Assessing national and international climate change policies and strategies in Chiapas.
2. Monitoring and evaluating water fund programs utilizing ecosystem service systems.
3. Developing a wildlife conservation and game management plan in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.
4. Generating a community-based coffee production and strategy from a watershed and natural resources management perspective.
5. Evaluating a citizen science project measuring the impact of school gardens on elementary environmental education.
The students spent three months in the field collecting ecological and social data. As part of their collaboration with local stakeholders and to fulfill their academic program requirements, the students will create tools and resources to help facilitate the application of their research by local communities and organizations. These tools will include videos, informational posters, brochures, research summaries, and more to help deliver their thesis in a way that has the most immediate benefit and impact for the community.
Students will defend their thesis in February and March from both ECOSUR and CSU campuses.
The third cohort of CLTL students is preparing to travel to Kenya, Peru and New Zealand in June 2014 to conduct similar studies with local partners.
For more information about the program, visit http://warnercnr.colostate.edu/cltl-how-to-apply or visit them on Facebook.