Notes from the field: Outcomes from the CDU first Brazilian Amazon Intensive (BAFI).
Carla C. Eisemberg, Sarah Sutcliffe, Lou Martini, Diane Bowman & Ella-Monique Mason
Northern Australia shares many similarities and challenges with the Brazilian Amazon. Both regions are located in the tropics and are considerably remote. Above all, both regions have rich wildlife, with species surprisingly related to each other due to ancient Gondwana connections. In 2016, Charles Darwin University introduced a Brazilian Amazon Field Intensive with key objectives to develop knowledge exchanges between Brazilian and Australian Environmental students and promote future research partnerships. This course is a result of collaboration between CDU, NIPA (National Institute for Amazon Research), AIHA (Amazon Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists), and COALAR (Council for Latin American Relationships). This Summer Semester, in November and December 2016, the unit took place in Manaus and the Rio Trombetas Biological Reserve. During the field trip students had the opportunity to learn about the Amazon environment and its wildlife. They exchanged experiences with local students, researchers and rangers, and Amazon industry and reserve managers. While in the Rio Trombetas Biological Reserve, they joined the research, community engagement and educational activities related to the conservation and management of the Giant Amazon River Turtle. During this talk the unit coordinator, together with BAFI graduate and undergraduate students, will present the highlights of this amazing experience.
Dr Carla Eisemberg is BAFI Unit Coordinator. Her research focuses on tropical freshwater turtles ecology, conservation, management and environmental education. She has over 10 years of experience working in remote locations, including: Brazil, Australia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.
Diane Bowman and Ella-Monique Mason are CDU Bachelor of Environmental Science students. Sarah Sutcliff and Lou Martini are CDU Master of Environmental Management students. They are studying the ecology of Amazon Riverine Turtles and creating new tools to help Amazon Park rangers to improve their management practices.