Blogs & Videos: Environment & Conservation

Recently acquired ectoparasites

In September, following the 2nd Peruvian Mammal Congress, a group of us--headed by Dr. Horacio Zeballos and members of his lab at Univ. San Agustin in Arequipa, headed to the Pacific Coast to sample lomas formations near Atiquipa.  During three nights there, we caught representatives of two highly endemic bats restricted to the arid Western Slope of the Andes, the nectar-feeder Platalina and the insect-eating Amorphochilus.

Science Action publishes comic book on fishing and environment

In August 2010 the Science Action Center published Grab This Fish Tale, a comic book based on ethnographic research conducted by anthropologist Mario Longoni and US Forest Service researchers Lynne Westphal and Cherie Fisher about angling and fish consumption practices that are healthy and good for the environment. The research was funded by the US Forest Service. The comic book was funded by the US Forest Service and the Donnelley Foundation. 

The Cultural Connections Guide to Teaching Diversity

The Cultural Connections Guide to Teaching Diversity, now available on the web, is being distributed to educators and community leaders through the Chicago Cultural Alliance. The guide is the result of eight years of experimenting with and refining methods to help teachers improve learning through engaging their diverse students more effectively.

Telling Our Stories: Creating Green Communities

Through “Telling Our Stories: Creating Green Communities,” funded by the Comer Foundation, our urban anthropologists worked with a professional storytelling team to train member organizations of the Chicago Cultural Alliance and the Energy Action Network to collect, document, and analyze community stories about environmentally-friendly practices, traditions, and values. The stories were used as data for studies commissioned by the City of Chicago Department of Environment to identify strategies for engaging communities in implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP).

Indigenous collaborations deepen along the Ecuador-Peru border

ECCo has worked with the Cofan indigenous people in Ecuador for more than 10 years. Our joint efforts have included four rapid inventories that led Ecuadorean authorities to recognize and protect Cofan ancestral lands. We also are charting a Cofan ancestral territories map. Our latest collaboration focuses on the Cofan sharing lessons learned in their successful park guard program with other indigenous groups. We began this effort during our rapid inventory in the Gueppi region of Ecuador and Peru in 2007.

Phylogenetic Systematics of Coral Reef Fishes

A major challenge in biology is the resolution of phylogenetic relationships among diverse clades of fishes inhabiting coral reefs around the world.  Collections are obtained through an active field program of visiting coral reefs in the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, and Pacific Islands, as well as the Caribbean, collecting fishes using SCUBA diving, nets and working with fishermen.  Phylogenetic systematics is the generation of molecular and morphological data from those collections, followed by large-scale data analysis to yield phylogenetic trees, which represent our best estimate of the family tree of relationships among fish species. Generating phylogenetic trees is one of the most useful and exciting areas in biology today.