An artwork of Meg-as-Canopy by Indian canopy ecology student, M. Paramesh, marks a successful visit to work on India’s critical forest conservation.
Archive for January, 2011
Speaker: Dr. Margaret D. Lowman
Date: January 28, 2011
Time: 4 pm
Venue: ATREE Auditorium in Bangalore, India
Title: UN Year of the Forest – inspiring new stakeholders to reverse deforestation
Rates of tropical deforestation continue to accelerate, and yet the United Nations has declared 2011 as the International Year of the Forest. Our conventional mechanisms of conservation have not been effective over the past several decades, so new and innovative solutions to reverse forest degradation are required. As a canopy biologist with over 30 years of experience, I discuss ways to leverage research and education outreach for conservation purposes. First, partnerships with non-traditional stakeholders are an emerging mechanism for success i.e., religious leaders, corporate and business partners, and engaging women in science are illustrated by case studies. Second, the inclusion of education and broader science communication as an essential component of my research – in particular the involvement of children as future stakeholders and increasing use of social media – have proven effective. The field of canopy science, with its creative toolkit of walkways and ropes that also foster ecotourism, can enhance forest conservation through the integration of economics and ecology to a growing diversity of stakeholders.
Dr. Lowman is the Director of the Nature Research Centre at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Professor at North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC. She also serves as Vice President of The Explorers Club; Vice President of the Ecological Society of America; Executive Director of Florida’s TREE Foundation; and Cluster Chair for the Sarasota Economic Development Corporation.
An article in DNA India about the launch of Krishnamurthy’s new book, The Fragile Forest: Inside Brazilian Amazonia (which includes a chapter written by Meg Lowman):
The Amazon rain forest is contrary to the way it was represented in Hollywood movie Anaconda. If explorer, writer and photographer Bhaskar D Krishnamurthy is to be believed, it is nice and not dangerous.
Anacondas, said he, were docile and when full and resting, people can even touch them. “It is very different from Nagarhole and Bandipur tiger reserves,” said Krishnamurthy, the author of The Fragile Forest: Inside Brazilian Amazonia, speaking at the launch of his book on Wednesday at Strand Book stall in Manipal Centre.
As part of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences’ monthly “Science Cafe,” Meg Lowman discussed the hard facts of the state of the world’s rainforests Tuesday at Tir Na Nog in Raleigh.
Lowman, director of the museum’s Nature Research Center and research professor of natural sciences at N.C. State, said the talk centered on explaining the realities of the rainforests, including their value and how to conserve them. She also used the Cafe as an opportunity to clear up common misunderstandings about rainforests.
As one of the first researchers to discover the mass amounts of plant and animal species living among the forest canopies, Lowman certainly knows the topic.
According to Lowman, the world’s rainforests do not solely provide luxuries — they also provide some of the most basic things important to human survival.
“Rainforests provide almost everything we eat — from coffee, to chocolate, to cinnamon,” Lowman said. “But the [rainforest] also provides oxygen, fresh water, medicines, foods, construction materials, homes to millions of species and climate control.”
How do you explain the extraordinary and secret world of rain forest biodiversity to students who have never seen a rain forest? Perhaps we start here at home…
Citizen science is the process of engaging citizens to collect data and learn how science works. To learn more about biodiversity, students of Rob Dunn at NCSU are surveying the biodiversity of belly buttons… Biodiversity VERY close to home!
Rob’s students piloted their survey at the ScienceOnline conference at Sigma Xi headquarters, NC. Biodiversity …. Bacteria? Fungi? Arthropods? Stay tuned, as they share the results and discuss the challenges of surveying biodiversity. Whether it is belly buttons or tall trees, it ain’t easy!!
The Pygmy three-toed sloth is on the list of one of the world’s most endangered animals. TREE Foundation has supported the training of canopy students by Meg Lowman,
who in turn taught Bryson Voirin, who in turn has been a long-standing TREE research associate and devoted much of his research career to sloth ecology. At popular request, TREE Foundation has established a special fund to support canopy research on sloths, and this fund is launched with a special music DVD (see below) with all proceeds dedicated to sloth research and conservation.
Stay tuned for updates on sloth research and conservation on this site!
“MOOZIKK” COLLABORATION OF MUSICIANS TO RAISE FUNDS AND AWARENESS FOR THE CONSERVATION OF THE PYGMY THREE TOED SLOTH
Martin Roberts (frontman of south UK unsigned indie dream-pop band PowderedCows) is an unsigned musician from Christchurch UK who makes music influenced by animals, birds, the outdoors, and his voluntary conservation work he gets involved with, such as otter surveying and looking after rescued bats.
All proceeds from sales of PowderedCows music go to various animal conservation charities. PowderedCows last album ‘attack of pipastrelles’ raised money for the UK’s Bat Conservation Trust.
Martin has recently started getting musicians he knows and is a fan of to submit tracks of them playing acoustic (just guitar and vocals) and then he has been adding his sound and instruments over the top. Martin will then put all the tracks onto a CD to raise money for conservation and awareness of the critically endangered three toed sloth.
“This is our last chance to save the pygmy three toed sloth – it’s like a living version of the sad story of the dodo, but, now we have a chance to do something to stop it becoming extinct, and we must take this chance now before it’s too late” [Martin Roberts]
Martin already has various musicians from the UK and USA (such as Jason Lytle from the band ‘Grandaddy’) submitting music for this album, and awaiting to hear back from more musicians, media, and like minded people..
This album is not going to be on any label, and all proceeds will go to help The Tree Foundation fund sloth expert Bryson Voirin help save the pygmy three toed sloth. Bryson works closely with The Tree Foundation who work hard on conservation projects such as helping this sloth species.
Here’s more about Bryson
Facebook group page for more details about “Moozikk”:
Thanks very much for your time and consideration
Martin Roberts (of the band PowderedCows www.myspace.com/powderedcows)
PDF of an article written by Dr. Lowman in The Explorers Journal titled, “Finding Sanctuary – Saving the biodiversity of Ethiopia, one church forest at a time”:
Date: Jan. 18, 6:30–8:30 pm with discussions beginning at 7 pm followed by Q&A
Location: Tir Na Nog, 218 South Blount Street, Raleigh, 919.833.7795
RSVP: 919.733.7450×531 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Every child grows up with a sense of awe about tropical forests — extraordinary creatures including poison dart frogs, sloths, orchids and jaguars representing a veritable treasure-trove of biodiversity. But scientists estimate that more than half of Africa’s rain forests are gone, with at least 40 percent losses in Asia and Latin America and 95 percent in Madagascar. Even with new technologies, measuring tropical deforestation is not easy, and illegal logging is epidemic in many parts of the world. What is the prognosis for the future of tropical rain forests? And how will human beings fare if these vital ecosystems disappear? What essential services do tropical forests provide for the planet, and how can we conserve them for our children?