Iracambi

Saving Forests: Changing Lives. Located in Brazil's Atlantic Forest, one of the worlds top five biodiversity hotspots, Iracambi "works with community leaders to make the conservation of the rainforest more attractive than its destruction."
Dec 2, 2011

A Junior Scientist Reports from the rainforest

This is me Adeilson, taking a water sample
This is me Adeilson, taking a water sample

My name is Adeilson, and I’m eleven, going on twelve.  

I have been one of the Junior Scientists @ Iracambi since August 2011, and we are just completing our first semester. The cool thing is that we get out of the classroom and get to spend the whole day at Iracambi. And the food is really good too.

Here I am taking a water sample. We’ve learned how to test for ph, turbidity, conductivity, temperature and water flow. This is really interesting because it has to do with the quality and quantity of our water. We’re also collecting data on rainfall, using our weather station as well as rain gauges we made ourselves to use at home.  

Our teacher has been telling us all about the physics and chemistry of water, and we’ve talked a lot about the watershed in our region and why it’s really important to protect our springs and stream banks because otherwise we may have problems with streams drying up and flooding and stuff.  And there’s a lot we need to know about climate change, and Brazil's a really important place because we have so much water and so much forest. When I leave school I want to study biology so that I can show all this cool stuff to other kids.

PS from Project Leader, Binka.

Dear wonderful supporters,

The Junior Scientists @ Iracambi would like to send a great big thank you for supporting our work over the past few months. Since we launched the project in July 2011 we’ve been able to provide nearly 100 middle school kids with a whole school day every month out in the field. They’ve  been collecting and monitoring data on water, soils and weather, as well as making tree seedlings in our forest nursery.

We’ve recently held a survey and asked the kids to evaluate their experiences and they all say how much they enjoy being out in the forest and getting to use proper scientific equipment. In fact their only complaint is that they only get to come once a month! 

So your generous donations are helping us raise a new generation of ecologists to protect the Brazilian forests that are so important to all of us. And we'd love it if you could help us fund an Open Day during the holidays so that our Junior Scientists can invite their friends and family to Iracambi for the day and show them what fun it is to be a proper field scientist.

And right now there's a great way to do this - by purchasing gift cards in support of our project. There's a handy little widget on the project page under the donate button to help you do this, and not only does it solve the problem of what to give, but it could also make our project eligible for an additional bonus award from GlobaGiving to fund our Open Day. So please consider supporting us in this way, and remember it’s not about the size of the gift, (although that helps!) it’s about the numbers of donors. Here’s the link and please share it with your friends, family and colleagues.

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/brazils-junior-scientists-restore-rainforest-iracambi/?show=gift

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday season!  

Here I am going off to the monitoring site
Here I am going off to the monitoring site
This is the LabQuest donated by Vernier
This is the LabQuest donated by Vernier
Here we are using the LabQuest
Here we are using the LabQuest
Here
Here's a group of us in the nursery
And a group in the river
And a group in the river

Links:

Oct 16, 2011

Junior scientists in the Field!

Identifying seeds
Identifying seeds

The rains come….

 Since the launch of Iracambi’s Junior Scientist project in July, about 90 junior scientists of the schools in Rosário da Limeira and Belisário have been making regular visits to Iracambi to learn about monitoring the environment. Their schools don’t have science laboratories so for most of the pupils (and for the teachers, too!) it is the first time that they have access to scientific equipment and learn how to use it. We have been measuring stream flows and water quality, and now we’ll start looking at soils.

 For weeks, we have been talking about measuring rainfall, butt there was never any rain! Finally in October, the rainy season has just started, so now we can see if what we talked about will work or not.

Measuring rainfall
Measuring rainfall
Checking stream flow
Checking stream flow
Steady hands!
Steady hands!

Links:

Aug 3, 2011

Junior Scientists Program Takes Off!

Schoolchildren from Rosario da Limeira
Schoolchildren from Rosario da Limeira

My name is Joshua Niederman. I am an In the Field intern visiting GlobalGiving partner organizations in Brazil. Read here about my recent visit to "Junior Scientists Restoring Brazil's Rainforest"! This project brings hundreds of schoolchildren to a beautiful farm outside of Rosario de Limeira, Minas Gerais state to learn about soil and water quality and mapping the natural environment. Through learning new economically and environmentally sustainable methods of farming, the children appreciate the beauty of the environment and recognize the need to protect what is left of the Atlantic Rainforest. When I arrived at Iracambi, the night before the launch of the Junior Scientist program, I was immediately struck by the number and quality of the volunteers working on the project. Over twenty volunteers from around the world were entrenched in a discussion about how to best execute the school visit. These budding ecologists took control of the entire exercise, from which activities to conduct at which stations, in which time periods. I have never seen a business or non-profit organization that so enables and encourages its staff, much less its volunteers, to lead. Early the next morning, around 80 junior high-school children from two nearby schools walked into the farm, ate a quick morning meal, and headed out to five different stations around the site, which taught the children how to conduct soil, water and forest monitoring and evaluation. It became immediately apparent that at Iracambi, the staff and volunteers trusted and believed in the students to learn the ecological lessons discussed. Students asked questions about the acidity of different soils and the turbidity of the water from a stream that runs through the forest farm. After Tony, an ecologist from Barcelona, spoke about three different soils present in the area, I asked one of the students if he had ever seen organic compost before. He looked at me like I was from another planet. "Of course" he replied indignantly, "My family grows mango trees at home." This was an ecologically sophisticated and mature bunch. I couldn't help thinking, this is just the beginning. The children will come back to the farm throughout the month in shifts to make tree seedlings, plant and care for the young trees, and continue to study the water and soils. Binka, the project leader, stated that her intention with forming Iracambi was to "train future forest guardians." I couldn't think of better candidates then those young scientists. Congratulations to the staff and all of the volunteers at Iracambi for the start of a very special and unique program! The Mata Atlantica is a beautiful area of Brazil that is in danger of being destroyed. Iracambi is working to protect this area of natural beauty, and appreciates your continued support in order to do this. Contribute here on GlobalGiving today! To find out more about the history of Iracambi, check out the organization's website at www.iracambi.com.

Tony teaching children about tree seedlings
Tony teaching children about tree seedlings
Mixing and measuring the soil
Mixing and measuring the soil
Recording soil composition
Recording soil composition
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